UK Regulator Alerts Public of Uncertified Crypto Corporations
There have been several warnings over the course of this week for people to avoid interacting with BK Coin and Local Bitcoin. Both companies show very similar websites, causing a red flag with the regulator.
In addition, the firm listed BlackRock Crypto Asset Management Limited, which is utilising the name of the large security company BlackRock, in their warning. The FCA states that none of the companies mentioned hold any licenses, or have sanctions to conduct their operational services. It also was discovered that the listed companies are already providing financial services for people in the UK illegally.
Local Bitcoin makes claims on their website that they are under the European regulatory body to convince users that they would transfer their crypto funds to European banks. They also state that they’re located in Northumberland, and are using a name that is one letter off from the name of licensed cryptocurrency exchange Local Bitcoins. They also say that their user base is over 260,000 clients.
The second company is just as fraudulent: BK Coins utilises a logo that is very similar to the former company’s logo. In their case, they’ve announced their location as London, and they also state that they are under UK regulations, which is not true according to the FCA.
The last scam is the most daring, however, as the company is using the same name as the FCA-licensed BlackRock Investment Management UK Ltd. The company is of US origins and has a local branch in the UK.
The fraudulent company has no website, however they seem to be located in London under their unauthorized CEO Mark Wiseman. Larry Frank, the CEO of BlackRock Inc. has mentioned that the company is looking into investing in cryptocurrency, however, there have been no official announcements. The CEO has already stated that they have seen little to no demand on cryptocurrency.
The fake BlackRock started in February, while holding only £1,000 in corporate capital. They claimed that they provide their customers with solutions for their investments, leasing, and other activities that will be considered illegal as long as they are not FCA-authorized.