On Thursday, November 1, three local cryptocurrency platforms were added to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) of New Zealand scam list, which is one of the ways the FMA strives to provide a more efficient and transparent financial market. The blacklisted companies are Crypto Gain, Russ Horn, and ZendTrade.
The FMA is a government agency that is responsible for regulating financial markets, exchanges and enforcing financial regulations. What it does, is to issue warnings to the general public on websites that may be of potential threat. Generally, the agency focuses on conducts that may have the highest level of risk while trying to achieve its objective.
The name Crypto Gain, for instance, may be easily mistaken for a mobile or desktop application that monitors a user’s digital asset or shows when losses or gains have been made. But this is not entirely true. Rather, Crypto Gain is a website for trading cryptocurrencies, and it also allows its investors to mine these digital assets.
According to the FMA, the reason for Crypto Gain’s blacklisting is because it has the characteristics of a scam. The agency mentioned that;
“The website www.cryptogainlimited.com is not associated with, nor a representative of, New Zealand registered company Cryptogain Limited.”
This goes contrary to the Certificate of Incorporation published on Crypto Gain’s website which claims that it is a registered company in New Zealand. The company is also using the same name as another registered New Zealand company and without the company’s consent. The said company is CrytoGainLimited.
Similarly, Russ Horn (also known as Forex Equinox) and Zend Trade were blacklisted for having the characteristics of a scam and withholding client funds. They were alleged to have offered unrealistic returns to their investors. That notwithstanding, each of these websites is still in full operation.
CryptoGain promises its investors daily returns of up to 2.6% and has cloud mining packages which offer 30% weekly returns. There is also a retirement plan which gives a 30% profit after retirement.
Russ Horn, on the other hand, claims to be a simplified Forex Trader that teaches people how to trade, whereas ZendTrade manages the user’s account by holding their funds and trading on their behalf. While each of these is quite attractive, it makes their mode of operation questionable not only by the FMA.
Asides from the aforelisted companies, two unlicensed brokers, FSMSmart and Baihua Global who falsely claimed to be a registered financial service provider in New Zealand, were blacklisted in August. These warnings by the FMA is to create an awareness to its citizens that they should be careful while transacting with certain websites.