French regulator issues fresh list of unauthorised crypto platforms

One blacklisted site predicted bitcoin will reach $150,000 by the end of the year

Bitcoin stocks chart, tokens and the French flag                                 
Bitcoin stocks chart and the French flag – Photo:Shutterstock
                                

The French stock market regulator, Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), has issued a warning regarding unauthorised cryptocurrency services.

On 1 October 2021, AMF released a list of “recently identified websites run by unauthorised entities”. The list includes four websites related to crypto derivatives investments and 12 foreign exchange (forex) websites.

One of the crypto websites states that a panel of crypto experts have predicted that bitcoin will reach $150,000 (€129,285, £110,528) by the end of the year.

In order to protect investors, the AMF and the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority, the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), regularly update its website, including blacklists of websites that are offering unregulated investments or providing crypto assets without being authorised to do so.   

The UK and crypto warnings

One thing the UK and France have in common, is that both country's have issued warning regarding cryptos.

Back in June this year, the UK's financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), issued a warning regarding Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange. Its warning informed consumers that Binance “is not permitted to undertake any regulated activity in the UK”. 

It also warned the public to be wary of any firms advertising or selling investments in crypto assets if they are not authorised to do so, thus if you do invest in such firms, you as a consumer will not have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

Most recently, the FCA has taken issue with certain Instagram posts.

At the beginning of September, Charles Randell, chair of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), criticised American model and media personality Kim Kardashian for an Instagram post in which she promoted the cryptocurrency Ethereum Max.

Speaking at the Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, Randell pointed out that Kardashian did keep in line with Instagram rules by disclosing that it was an #AD (advertisement).

However she did not “have to disclose that Ethereum Max – not to be confused with Ethereum – was a speculative digital token created a month before by unknown developers – one of hundreds of such tokens that fill the crypto-exchanges.”

Randell added that although he could not confirm whether the token was a scam, “Social media influencers are routinely paid by scammers to help them pump and dump new tokens on the back of pure speculation. Some influencers promote coins that turn out simply not to exist at all.”

Randell also noted that because the model has 250 million Instagram followers, “it may have been the financial promotion with the single biggest audience reach in history.”

At the time, the FCA chair reminded everyone that cryptocurrencies are not regulated by the FCA and that people should be prepared to lose all their money if they buy into cryptos.

Further reading: NatWest customers warned of crypto scams

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