“Crime,” 1960s Batman once said, “never sleeps.” And so it proves today. Late last week, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) added another cryptocurrency firm to its warning list.
Alliance Capitals, as the company calls itself, provides a variety of cryptocurrency products to its prospective clients. That includes binary options – a big red flag – and some sort of cryptocurrency trading platform.
How it provides access to those products is unclear. The reason for this is that most of the services on offer appear to be on third party sites and not a part of Alliance Capital. Having said this, it’s more than likely that these third party sites are also controlled by the people running Alliance Capital.
Anyhoo, the company claims that it is based in Zurich, in the heart of Crypto Valley. Unless you, dear Finance Magnates reader, would like to fund my trip to Switzerland, I’m afraid I can’t verify this. Past experience, however, does lead me to believe that this is probably a fake address.
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FINMA takes on the scam artists
Cryptocurrency scams have become something of a trend in the scammersphere over the past few months. Traditionally these firms have been hocking contracts-for-differences (CFDs) with obscenely high leverage or binary options products.
Now they’ve started on cryptocurrency – an industry that itself has a short history and extensive array of scams attached to it. The fraudsters came out of the woodwork the moment the cryptocurrency boom took off.
Most famous amongst these was the initial-coin-offering scam, where fraudsters would set up a worthless coin and then run off with all the cash. Others were slightly more sophisticated. For instance, some computer nerds figured out how to hijack someone’s CPU power, as they browsed a website, in order to mine cryptocurrency.
Now we have boiler rooms and companies such as Alliance Capital. These are essentially the same as the aforementioned CFD fraudsters. Companies are set up to look like brokers but end up taking your money and giving you nothing in return.
FINMA’s warning is proof that 1960s batman was correct – crime never sleeps. We can only hope that the Dark Knight goes all cyber-warrior on us and starts picking these punks off one by one.