A number of cryptocurrency platforms reporting billions in daily trades on CoinMarketCap appear to have been misleading their customers about holding certain crypto licenses, an investigation by Cointelegraph has found.
Bitspay, a crypto exchange that reports $1.4 billion daily trades on CoinMarketCap, claimed that it held a licence in and was regulated by Estonia, however after Cointelegraph reached out with questions about this licence, the company swiftly erased its reportedly fake license data.
At the time of writing, Bitspay is the fourth-largest crypto exchange in terms of daily trading volumes on CoinMarketCap, following platforms like Binance, Bitforex and Topcredit.
According to data from CoinMarketCap, Bitspay is a centralized exchange (CEX) based in Estonia. The exchange was launched in 2020 and is regulated by Estonian regulators under Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism regulations, Bitspay’s page on CoinMarketCap reads.
Bitspay has claimed that the exchange was licensed and regulated by Estonia’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). “Bitspay Limited registered with the registration number FVR000796, under the Laws of the Republic of Estonia,” the firm stated on one of its domains, Bitspay.io, until it erased the information immediately following Cointelegraph's enquries.
Contacted by Cointelegraph, Estonia’s FIU reported that Bitspay didn’t hold any valid license in Estonia. “We took a look into it and it seems that the license number which they have previously announced refers to an Estonian company Globe Assets OÜ,” a spokesperson for the FIU said in a statement on Sept. 21. The license was also valid for less than a year, from March 2019 until January 2020, the representative noted.
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