CySEC sounds regulation alarm on clones of Fxview, OctaFX

abdelaziz Fathi

The Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission has once again stepped up its fight against unauthorized brokers.

The Cypriot regulator today published a warning against a slew of unlicensed providers, whose domains were just blacklisted for facilitating trading in FX and cryptocurrencies without being authorized to do so in the country.

Cysec also sounded alarm bells after it spotted a fraudulent scheme imitating brand of regulated FX broker OctaFX. A company called ‘Markets Octa,’ is apparently another instance of a scam operation where an unlicensed company illegally assumes the identity of an authorized company so that traders will mistake it for the legitimate entity.

CySEC added that some of these brands are misleadingly claiming affiliation other brokers that are already regulated in Cyprus and hold its CIF License. The watchdog has therefore blacklisted the following domains:

 winicoin.com

 fxviewinvestment.com

 enormoustradeharvest.com

 marketsocta.com

 colmex24.net

 tradingmasterclass77.com

While many providers claim to be Cyprus-based, the CySEC said previously it believed such companies were based overseas and providing false addresses, adding that it would look into taking further action if companies were actually based within the country.

The Cypriot watchdog has recently revealed new details about its efforts to regulate crypto assets, hinting more discussions might already be underway. The CySEC wants to increase oversight of cryptocurrencies and related assets by integrating EU anti-money-laundering rules into the Cypriot laws.

Crypto platforms face tighter AML rules

Derivatives referencing crypto assets don’t not fall under this suggestion, as they remain subject to ESMA’s current restriction and any future proposals by the CySEC regarding the sale of these instruments to retail investors.

Meanwhile, the CySEC went beyond the requirements set out in the fifth directive as it wants to bring new activities, which are not included in AMLD5, under the AML/CFT obligations.

Under current laws, CySEC has no powers to force internet companies to refuse financial advertisements or block access to their domains. It can only ask them to take down fraudulent promotions once they have been spotted. As a result, fraudsters and promoters of high-risk schemes have been able to place advertisements claiming to be based or licensed in Cyprus.

Earlier this month, CySEC announced that Hoch Capital Ltd (trading as iTrader and tradeATF) was disbarred from its lifeboat scheme. Fortunately, the clients of Hoch Capital are still entitled to benefit from the Investor Compensation Fund (ICF), which serves to protect the claims of covered clients and provide them with compensation in case a member could not meet its financial obligations.

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