BitMEX Is 'Not Authorized to Operate in the UK, Says Country’s Financial Regulator

The U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the country’s financial watchdog, has warned popular crypto derivatives trading platform BitMEX has been operating in the country without proper authorization.

According to a statement the regulator published, it is cautioning users who wish to deal with the platform and likened it to scammers, giving out tips on how to deal with these. The statements reads:

We believe this firm [BitMEX] has been providing financial services or products in the UK without our authorisation. Find out why to be especially wary of dealing with this unauthorised firm and how to protect yourself from scammers.

Businesses offering financial products in the U.K. are required to register with the FCA, however the regulator notes some “act without our authorization and some knowingly run investment scams.”

It added BitMEX has been actively targeting people in the country, and since it isn’t registered with the FCA those who trade with it won’t have access to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which can resolve trading disputes, or to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The FCA’s notice on BitMEX came shortly after it published one cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, although it promptly deleted that one. The move comes less than two months after the FCA revealed new rules for cryptocurrency businesses.

According to an official announcement published on January 10, the FCA has started monitoring for anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing, The announcement reads:

We will proactively supervise firms’ compliance with the new regulations, and will take swift action where firms fall short of desired standards and cause risks to market integrity.

It’s worth noting that the FCA has last year proposed a ban on the sale of cryptoasset derivatives and exchange-traded notes (ETNs) to retail investors. In a press release on its website, the regulator revealed it considered the products “ill-suited” for investors who are “unable to reliable assess the value and risks of derivatives or ETNs that reference certain crypto-assets.”

Featured image via Pixabay.