France’s AMF adds more illicit FX and cryptoasset schemes to blacklist

Maria Nikolova

Since the start of May, the regulator has added three websites of cryptoasset entities and five websites of Forex entities to its blacklist.

France’s financial markets authority AMF has recently upgraded its blacklists of unregulated entities, so that the lists are now easily searchable and offer more information about blacklisted websites. 

Since the start of May 2019, 23 websites have been added to the “blacklist”, with many of them relating to illicit offerings of investments in wine, cattle and gold. There are several additions related to online trading companies, including a couple of websites related to binary options, five websites dedicated to FX offerings and three websites dedicated to fraudulent offerings of cryptoasset firms.

New additions to crypto “blacklist”:

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

New additions to Forex “blacklist”:

  • www.finaria-fx.com / Goldtech Media Services OÜ
  • www.marketsbroker.com / Markets Broker
  • www.pepperdyne.com / Blackstone Capital Limited
  • www.tradeprocapitals.com / TradePro Capital Markets
  • www.tradershome.com / Tradershome Ltd

Since March 2018, the AMF has been compiling its own “blacklist” of websites that offer investments in crypto-assets. 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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