On April 4, 2019, Belgium’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA), announced that it had updated a blacklist of cryptocurrency-related websites associated with crimes such as fraud.
Belgium’s FSMA Tightens the Strings
Belgium, like many of the other European nations, has been somewhat skeptical towards cryptocurrencies. However, the country is not entirely anti-crypto like nations on the other side of the world including India, China, and others.
In Belgium, however, scams related to cryptocurrencies have become commonplace as of late. As previously reported, in September 2018, the FSMA issued warnings about the spread of illegitimate crypto and blockchain-related platforms and added 28 new websites to its blacklist.
Now, the financial watchdog has added seven more sites to its blacklist, pushing the total number of banned websites to 120.
In its official statement, the FSMA notes that the latest move was taken after considering the number of complaints received from consumers who had invested in digital currencies on such platforms. The FSMA added that frauds related to cryptocurrencies are still taking place in Belgium.
The financial watchdog added that these seven crypto platforms were blacklisted after a thorough investigation. Further, the regulator warned that its blacklist does not include all businesses that might be operating illegally in the Belgian crypto industry.
The seven websites that have now been blacklisted are: www.bearsmarkets.com, www.btckingdom.com, www.directco-invest.com, www.maisonducoins.net, www.novoplacement.com, www.ripae-homine.com, and www.tribelylimited.com.
The official statement reads in part:
“The principle remains the same: they offer you an investment they claim is secure, easy and very lucrative. They try to inspire confidence by assuring you that you don’t need to be an expert in cryptocurrencies in order to invest in them.”
Later, these crooks claim to have dedicated crypto specialists that help in managing consumer’s funds. Once the clueless customers deposit their money, these businesses vanish into thin air.
The Dutch Neighbors Keen on Regulating Cryptocurrency
While Belgium has not yet taken a firm move for or against cryptocurrencies, their Dutch neighbors seem keen on regulating the new form of money.
As reported by BTCManager on December 13, 2018, De Nederlandsche, the Dutch central bank, expressed its intentions of regulating cryptocurrencies to mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing in the country.