France and Italy Continue Crack Down on Bitcoin Online Scams

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Regulators in Italy and France have recently waged a war on online Bitcoin scams. The move comes after both countries asked the European Union to address possible disruptions caused by stablecoins. The crack down happened days later, after France’s top financial regulator published a list of investment companies that don’t have authorization to operate within the country.

At the same time, Italy’s CONSOB did pretty much the same in accordance with the Pacte law. CONSOB has been among the strictest regulators in Europe on leveraged tradings. Recently, it instructed the country’s Internet access providers to block the IPs of Italian investors to seven online brokers in a move to prevent potential financial disruptions.

Not the First Time

Italy and France both have strict regulators that comb through each Bitcoin or blockchain transaction. Crypto exchanges should be registered under the AMF in Italy in order to operate and the same goes for any other business including Bitcoin casinos. If the CONSOB finds out that an organization or company operates without its knowledge, it doesn’t wait for confirmation before disrupting it.

Unauthorized actors on the market have been a big thing recently with the Bitcoin explosion during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, while many offshore brokers and business though they could slip through undetected, the CONSOB has shut them all down, increasing the number of blacklist entries to nearly 300. No Bitcoin casino or exchange could slip through the gates without the CONSOB noticing.

It’s more or less the same in France. The country’s top regulator took action against a firm called BitcoinFrance that raised quite a few red flags with its behavior. The company offers registered users access to proprietary Bitcoin trading software as soon as they deposit a minimum of $250.

The app supposedly trades in crypto markets on behalf of its clients. It supposedly generates up to €1,000 per day, with profits realized with no risk. If that sounds like investment fraud to you, it most likely is.

The AMF asked the EU for help, but after receiving nothing, it decided to move on its own. The result is a long list of blacklisted sites that are not publicly available on the regulator’s site. As the domains can change quickly, though, the list is still not exhaustive.

Paris is Seeking Police Crypto Activities

The crack down comes after France and Germany both pushed for global crypto regulation. Of course, we’re still far off such a thing, so Italy and France took matters into their own hands.

France has just published new rules in regards to licensing of digital asset service providers. It also has new guidelines in place for companies looking to apply for the non-mandatory license. Each company operating in the crypto sector must inform the regulator of its activities or it can be brought down quickly.

With the world slowly realizing Bitcoin’s potential, we’re still surprised to see the European Union taking no big action in terms of regulation. Until then, Italy and France will continue locking down unauthorized and potentially lucrative businesses.

September 23, 2020: • No Comments

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