Malta Finance Regulator Warns Against Crypto Margin Trading Site

The MFSA issued a warning against Stocksbtc, denying claims that the startup is registered with the regulator and based in Malta.

AccessTimeIconApr 5, 2018 at 4:40 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:47 a.m. UTC

Malta's government has released a new warning about a cryptocurrency margin trading site.

StocksBTC claims on its website to be registered with the agency and to have a physical location in the country. That's not true, according to the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), prompting it to issue a warning Thursday to investors about the service.

In addition, the MFSA noted that StocksBTC "appears to be offering investment and/or other financial services to consumers." As part of its warning, the regulator noted that Stocksbtc is not "licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide any type of financial services which are required to be licensed or otherwise authorised under Maltese law."

The statement continued:

"The MFSA strongly advises investors and consumers of financial services that prior to making any investment or entering into any financial services transaction they should ascertain that the entity with whom the investment or transaction is being made is authorised to provide such services by the MFSA or another financial services regulatory authority as applicable."

The MFSA has taken a largely cautious approach to the cryptocurrency space to date, and today's warning is the first related to cryptocurrency since it put out a general advisory on last July.

The warning comes just over two months after the MFSA released feedback for its new cryptocurrency rulebook, which was released at the end of January, as previously reported. Even still, crypto businesses are eyeing the country for relocation – late last month, cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it would open an office in Malta.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to reflect the new rulebook has been released. 

Malta flag image via Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.