Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), the country’s main securities regulator, today issued a warning against two entities that have been offering their services to the public without authorisation, and it has updated its Alert List accordingly.
Ethtrade is the first company to come under scrutiny by the watchdog after having solicited its trading services without a licence. The company, which operates online via www.ethtrade.org, offers trading with Ethereum on the cryptocurrency exchanges and services in the field of asset trust management. Its address is listed as Unit 3, Room 2207-9, Tower Two, Lippo Centre, 89 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong, but this was found to belong to a secretarial company.
Ethtrade is the second online brokerage of its genre to come under fire by the SFC in recent weeks. Less than a month ago, the watchdog issued a warning against VGS, a company describing itself as the world’s leading virtual currency trading platform, for operating a suspicious website.
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Drunkenmiller Investment Services
The second firm to make it onto the SFC’s Alert list is Drunkenmiller Investment Services which operates online under the banner of www.drunkenmiller-investment.com. The company is located at Circle Tower, 28 Tang Lung Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, but has been found to not be located there. Once again, the company is listed as an unlicensed entity for having solicited its services without the proper authorisation to do so.
Hong Kong’s financial watchdog plays a key role in informing investors about potential scams by drawing attention to illicit operations and unregulated entities that market participants should refrain from doing business with.
Alongside the two warnings today, the SFC has also taken the opportunity to warn in its statement that unlicensed entities may use names similar to legitimate companies to confuse investors, and while a firm’s website may reveal what appears to be a legitimate financial services outfit, ambiguities relating to the firm’s address and bank account details often raise concerns.
These factors were a feature of today’s warnings and prompted the SFC to take action in order to protect any potential investors falling into unscrupulous hands.