Malta Financial Service Authority (MFSA) has issued a cease and desist order yesterday to SolutionsCM Ltd, an unlicensed cryptocurrency exchange serving its populace.
The order as displayed on the regulator’s website specifically addressed the infringement of art. 18 of the Italian Legislative Decree No. 58/1998 which the company was found in violation of.
OriginalCrypto operated by SolutionsCM Ltd is purported to be a cryptocurrency investment brokerage firm where Bitcoin trading services are being offered with leverage options. Other services claimed by the website included trading with “over 200 high-liquidity assets, stocks, commodities, indices, currencies and much more based only on CRYPTO Exchange”.
The platform offers six account types, each of which requires a minimum BTC deposit before the account is activated.
The financial regulator feared that its citizens may be patronizing an unlicensed exchange exposing them to high-level financial risks and issued out the warning message:
“The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has ordered the following companies to cease infringement of art. 18 of the Italian Legislative Decree No. 58/1998, consisting of the provision of unauthorized investment services and activities to the Italian public performed by SolutionsCM Ltd via the www.originalcrypto.com website.”
Several discrepancies raising red flags, including information on account types in Russian, which translates to: “LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY “SAMDAR” | Registration date: 13.11.2017 | Legal address: 108841, Moscow, Troitsk, ul. 2nd Scientific, d. 4/2, pom. Vi, com. 3 | OGRN 5177746199791 | TIN 7751116026 | KPP 775101001 | OKVED 46.73 Settlement Account No. 40702810538000154658 in PJSC Sberbank Moscow BIC 044525225 | f / c 30101810400000000225 . Email : [email protected]”.
Earlier this year, ScamBitcoin, a monitoring blog that notifies the public of cryptocurrency-related scam operations, blacklisted the site as a scam. Further analysis revealed unsettling discoveries. Back then, ScamBitcoin documented the Risk Disclosure tag which read:
ScamBitoin added: “We could find no evidence to support that Bali Limited Ltd was an actual corporation. The alleged corporate address provided for Bali Limited Ltd does not appear to be a factual physical address and computes to a variance of their disclosed address”.
Now, the footer of the website has changed the location and company, reflecting a change in the corporation’s management, which leaves some questions unanswered, such as whether the corporation, if at all real, had changed ownership and no press release detailing the changes were made known to the public. More so, the current operator’s address still conflicts with the official address provided.
This year only, numerous exchanges have received similar desist orders from different jurisdictions. Bitcoin News reported Texas Securities Board’s sanction on two exchanges, Thailand’s SEC’s warning about Q Exchange.
Malta has always been a crypto friendly area, and one racing to be the first innovative ideal space for companies to establish their blockchain businesses. It has made efforts to grow its fintech infrastructure to accommodate the blockchain technology by providing the first regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrency business, and also through partnerships and memoranda of understanding with cryptocurrency exchanges. Further, Italy seems to be tightening its grip on non-compliant exchanges.
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