Crypto “blacklist” compiled by France’s AMF continues to grow

Maria Nikolova

Five websites of entities that offer illegal services related to cryptoassets have been added to the “blacklist” in about a month.

France’s Financial Markets Authority (AMF) has earlier today informed the public that five more websites of entities whose activities are related to crypto-assets have been added to its “blacklist”. The websites have been added to the list in about a month, indicating that the fraudulent schemes involving crypto-assets are still active.

Three of the websites were added in May, with two more added in June:

  • www.bforfinance.com
  • www.coin-financial.com
  • www.gwt-capital.com
  • www.jbcapitals.com
  • www.xcoinbroker.com

France’s AMF has compiling its own “blacklist” of websites that offer investments in crypto-assets since March 2018. Overall, the French regulator has warned the public against more than 100 unregulated entities or websites whose activities relate to crypto-assets.

AMF’s Annual Report for 2018 has revealed the positive effects of the Sapin 2 law which tried to put an end to the marketing of toxic online trading products such as binary options and high-leverage CFDs, while highlighting concerns associated with the rise of crypto-assets. On the brighter side, the AMF has observed the positive effects of the introduction of the Sapin 2 law. In 2018, the number of advertisements dedicated to speculative products has fallen to 311. This compares to an annual average of 582 for the period from 2014 to 2016. Most (83%) of the ads for online trading products in 2018 were legal. Only 51 ads contravened the Sapin 2 law – they were issued by 9 entities “regulated” in Cyprus.

In 2018, 36% of the enquiries received by AMF’s consumer contact center Epargne Info Service center concerned criminal activities online. Whereas in 2016 fraudulent offers concerning investments in Forex and binary options triggered 3,768 enquiries, and those about crypto-assets triggered only 18 enquiries, in 2018, the trend was the opposite. Last year, 968 enquiries concerned FX and binary options, whereas over 2,600 enquiries concerned crypto-assets.

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