U.K.’s financial services providers watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has sent out a warning about three crypto-related firms that have been operating without a proper license.
According to CryptoVest, the warnings were issued about Local Bitcoin Ltd, BK Coin and BlackRock Crypto Asset Management Limited. The FCA revealed that both Local Bitcoin and BK Coin lack the correct authorization to provide financial services in the U.K.
The third company, BlackRock Crypto, is a “clone firm” of the FCA-authorized BlackRock Investment Management (U.K.) Limited, which is the local branch of U.S.-based BlackRock Inc. However, the “clone firm” is not associated at all with BlackRock and doesn’t have FCA authorization to conduct business.
In other news, CNBC reported that on August 24, five Chinese government agencies — the People’s Bank of China, the Banking Regulatory Commission, the Central Cyberspace Affairs Commission, the Ministry of Public Security and the State Administration for Market Regulation — all issued a warning about the risks from illegal fundraising that claim to be associated with blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
On the same day, Tencent announced it will not allow cryptocurrency-related transactions to be processed through WeChat pay, and also blocked some accounts that allegedly included information about initial coin offerings and crypto trading. And earlier in the month, Beijing’s Chaoyang District banned shopping areas, hotels and office buildings hosting promotional events for cryptocurrencies.
Despite the fact that the country has supported blockchain technology — with President Xi Jinping calling it a “breakthrough” technology — Jack Lee, managing director at HCM Capital, doesn’t expect regulators to ease restrictions around cryptocurrency investing.
And CryptoVest revealed that Russian police officers seized more than 20 cryptocurrency ATMs, owned and operated by BBFpro. While a specific reason for the action is unknown, the company said that authorities want to gather more information on the ATMs’ working system, as well as how BBFpro operates the machines.
BBFpro will appeal the move, and claim reputation and economic damages, according to the company’s legal representative, Sarkis Darbinyan.
“There is no ban on the purchase of cryptocurrency in the current legislation. The company complies with all the procedures established by law, it pays taxes, and even identifies users despite the absence of such mandatory requirements,” Darbinyan said.