South Africa’s financial watchdog is investigating Mirror Trading International (MTI), a purportedly lucrative crypto trading network that Texas state regulators last month declared as a fraud.

  • At the very least, the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) intoned in its Tuesday announcement that MTI is operating a financial service without a license.
  • MTI told FSCA its bots conduct high-frequency derivatives trades with client's pooled bitcoin, consistently generating 10% monthly returns.
  • But FSCA said it "has much greater concern" about the legitimacy of MTI's purported business model. It said in a statement that such a consistent high yield "seems far-fetched and unrealistic."
  • Regulators are now parsing through statements made by a former platform broker for MTI that may contradict MTI's self-descriptions.
  • MTI has "partially cooperated" in the inquiry, according to FSCA, and informed clients of the investigation. FSCA recommended that all clients jump ship post-haste: "We recommend that clients request refunds into their own accounts as soon as possible."
  • MTI CEO Johann Steynberg denied the trading club is a scam in a letter to investors obtained by the news site Bitcoin.com.
  • FSCA's inquiry comes just over a month after the Texas State Securities Board ordered MTI and its associates to "cease and desist" what it called a multi-level marketing scam.

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