Austria’s Financial Markets Authority Warns Against Unregulated Crypto Firm Top10Coins

News | November 26, 2018 By:

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has warned investors against an unregulated crypto firm which offers services to local residents.

In its warning, the FMA said Top10Coins is offering banking services within the country that require a license. It added that the company is not registered in Austria and is therefore not allowed to offer financial services in the country.

“Top10Coins is not entitled to carry out banking transactions in Austria that require a license,” the regulator said. “Therefore, the acceptance of funds from other parties on a commercial basis for management purposes or as deposits (Article 1 para. 1 no. 1 BWG) is not allowed.”

Based in Hong Kong, Top10Coins claims that it helps traders participate in the crypto market by setting up accounts across different trading platforms. Users can then “simply and conveniently make a bank transfer in euros to their own trading accounts at the trading platforms.” According to its website, the service is meant for all those who have decided to invest in cryptocurrencies but do not want or cannot set up their own accounts due to lack of time or other reasons.

“We have many years of experience in this field and on your behalf we request the registration and the opening of accounts in your name with the trading platforms for crypto currencies,” the company said. “This is the fastest and easiest way to open your own accounts on multiple trading platforms for crypto currencies. Usually the accounts are set up on the same day and can be used immediately.”

Earlier this year, Klaus Kumpfmüller and Helmut Ettl, board directors of the FMA, submitted proposals for stricter regulations of cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO). Kumpfmüller proposed a “threshold-dependent” prospectus requirement for ICOs similar to that of securities. While Ettle compared the proposed regulations to existing restrictions on financial institutions, saying that “for the purchase and sale of foreign currency you need a mini-bank license.”