Gibraltar Watchdog Warns of Three Cryptocurrency Websites


The Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) today issued three warnings against cryptocurrency websites claiming to be either regulated or based in the self-governing territory., and are purporting to be incorporated within Gibraltar’s fledgling cryptocurrency industry and claiming to be licensed by the GFSC. The country’s chief financial watchdog, however, says these brands/domains are neither licensed nor having an “in-principle” application pending for authorisation.

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An “in-principle” decision is the first stage of the full authorization process whereby the applicant needs to satisfy the GFSC on one or more requirements in order to obtain a license.

Some of the flagged entities went a step further, displaying the GFSC logo on their websites without the regulator’s consent.

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC) requires licensed firms to demonstrate it has adequate financial resources, IT systems, and controls to comply with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing rules. The in-principle decision it issues is an indication that the applicant complies with nine regulatory principles set out in Gibraltar’s DLT regulations.

The watchdog added that these financial promotions were unlikely to provide consumers with the clarity required by its rules and could leave them unable to understand whether the promoted products or services were beyond its remit.

As such, engaging in business with a company approved by the GFSC offers clients several guarantees regarding the safety of their funds, and the trustworthiness of the service with which they are working.

Gibraltar’s financial services watchdog has been active recently in providing its bespoke license for blockchain firms using distributed ledger technology. Attracting blockchain startups is seen as one way of bolstering Gibraltar’s thriving financial services industry after the self-governing territory, along with the UK, could leave the EU later this year.

The Gibraltar Stock Exchange (GSX) is also working to offer a tokenized securities exchange solution. Most recently, it partnered with STO Global-X (STGX), a Singapore-based startup, to enable different marketplaces to tokenize securities and facilitate the virtual ownership and trading of physical assets using digital tokens.

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