FCA warns against unregistered cryptocurrency firm

The Financial Conduct Authority has said that a Bulgarian firm is offering cryptocurrency-related derivatives in the UK without being registered

What has happened?

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has warned investors over an unregistered Bulgarian brokerage firm that is said to be offering cryptocurrency-related derivatives in the country.

What does this mean?

In a statement, the financial watchdog said that Sofia-based Olsson Capital has been providing "financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation".

"This firm is not authorised by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorisation," the FCA said.

The watchdog added that almost all firms and individuals offering, promoting or selling financial services or products in the UK have to be authorised by it.

Echoing previous warnings, the FCA also cautioned investors against dealing with financial firms that it has not authorised.

It also reminded investors to check the Financial Services Register, which lists firms that are FCA-authorised, as well as the Interim Permission Register, which shows firms that have not yet been authorised.

In January 2018, the regulator warned of the rise of online investment fraud, including cryptocurrencies, after finding that investors had lost more than £87,000 per day to one type of scam in 2017.

In November 2017, the FCA also warned the public about cryptocurrency contracts for difference, stating that they are "an extremely high-risk, speculative investment" and adding that only "experienced investors with sophisticated knowledge of financial markets" should invest in them.

Next steps

If you want to take advantage of blockchain's huge potential and disruptive impact, while avoiding falling foul of ever-developing regulatory and legal requirements, visit our Hogan Lovells Engage Blockchain Toolkit.

John Salmon
Languages English
Topics Blockchain
Countries United Kingdom


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