OneCoin warning issued by Belgium’s FSMA regulator
Belgium’s Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) is one of the country’s top financial regulators, the other being the Bank of Belgium.
As per the FSMA website, the regulator is responsible ‘for the integrity of the financial markets and fair treatment of financial consumers‘ in Belgium.
Earlier today the FSMA issued a warning against OneCoin.
The warning, issued in conjunction with the Bank of Belgium, states that neither OneCoin or their investors are “recognized by the FSMA”.
Certain people have recently been promoting OneCoin, said to be a virtual currency based on cryptography, in Belgium.
The FSMA wishes to warn the public that OneCoin has not received any form of recognition whatsoever from the FSMA.
The same is true of the persons who are promoting OneCoin: they do not hold an authorization or any other form of recognition from the FSMA.
The warning goes on to provide examples of Belgian investors claiming OneCoin has FSMA approval.
Hence the claims made public by Mr Laurent Louis’ on his Facebook page, namely, that the FSMA had stated that it “n’avait rien trouvé à redire sur le OneCoin” (unofficial English translation, “ that it had nothing to say about OneCoin”) and that “pour la FSMA, le OneCoin ne pose aucun problème et n’est nullement illégal ni une arnaque” (unofficial English translation, “for the FSMA, OneCoin does not pose any problems and is neither illegal nor a fraud”) are false and misleading.
These claims suggest or imply that the operations in OneCoin are carried out under conditions laid down by the laws and regulations which the FSMA enforces, whereas in fact these laws and regulations do not apply to such operations.
Generally speaking, there are no specific rules governing virtual money that the FSMA could enforce.
The last line suggests the FSMA have not investigated OneCoin. This is supported by the regulator’s description of OneCoin as a “said to be virtual currency” and claim it hasn’t “formally assessed” the scheme.
The operational reliability (and in particular, the risk of fraud) of such systems has not yet been formally assessed by the regulators.
It is likely that following the FSMA’s warning that further investigation into OneCoin will take place behind the scenes.
If the FSMA conclude OneCoin is a Ponzi scheme, whether any further action is taken remains to be seen.