In a newsletter published today by the Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB), the securities market regulator in Italy has issued a cease and desist order to two cryptocurrency-related platforms.
As the chief regulator of the Italian securities market, CONSOB has deemed it fit to suspend the activities of Bitsurge Token and Green Energy Certificates for 90 days as a “precautionary measure” in line with the infringement of Article 99, Paragraph 1, Letter b of the Consolidated Law on Finance.
Both firms were allegedly offering unregistered securities or outrageous investment benefits for sale, and advertising their products to Italian residents via an online platform. For Bitsurge Token, the website was the medium of communication while the Green Energy Certificates used its Facebook social media page to advertise its product.
The Italian regulator has taken action against Bitsurge Token and Green Energy Certificates under two official resolutions viz: Resolution no. 20741 and Resolution no. 20740 respectively. This was published on the Italian regulator’s website on 12 December.
According to the resolution, the regulator identified offers from the Bitsurge Token operators providing an investment return of up to 7% minimum upon buying the Bitsurge token unit of USD 40 minimum with a lifecycle of 90 days on the ROI. Further, there were also “token contracts” offers detailed in the resolution, noting that the platform was offering investment cap of USD 1,000 up to USD 25,000.
On the other hand, the second offender Green Energy Certificates project was offering an investment opportunity “to protect the rainforests from deforestation” through blockchain while guaranteeing “a compensation of 6% per annum… spread every month at 0.5%”, the resolution reads.
The regulator emphasized: “Those wishing to make an offer to the public shall publish a prospect beforehand.” And these two companies were in violation of the financial laws of Italy, noting that the absence of a prospectus and a lack of prior notice to CONSOB presented a “well-founded suspicion about the promotion of a public offer of financial product” to the Italian citizens.
In light of the resolution, a 90-days embargo has been placed on both operators, with an appeal position to the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio within 60 days from the date of communication.
The Italian financial regulator continues to show steadfastness in protecting the investors within its borders against fraudulent cryptocurrency related services. Not too long ago, in a joint statement with Malta’s Financial Services (MFSA), both regulators issued a warning to an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange dubbed OriginalCrypto operating within their region.
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