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scams are increasing, how to avoid them?

The world of cryptos is the favorite playground of fraudsters. Between false intermediaries and influencers on social networks extolling the merits of a platform, the excesses are legion. And these scams work, because the double, three or four digit performances, achieved in record time, make some savers dizzy, who let their guard down when it comes to elementary caution.

In the fall of 2021, a cryptocurrency called “squid” surfed on the popularity of the series Squid Gameon Netflix. Its price soared in a few days to reach $2,800 before collapsing to zero, its creators having sold at the highest level.

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Fake platforms specializing in cryptocurrencies are also a scourge against which the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) regularly fights. The stock market watchdog publishes a blacklist of companies that have been the subject of a warning, because they operate on the French market without being authorized to do so. The first reflex before investing is therefore to check whether the platform is registered as a digital asset service provider (PSAN) with the AMF.

This is a simple registration based on the good repute of the managers and shareholders and the company’s provisions in terms of the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. About thirty actors are already registered.

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“The pace is still very strong. About forty cases are under investigation. specifies Stéphane Pontoizeau, director of the supervision of intermediaries and market infrastructures at the AMF. Beyond registration, it is also possible to apply for approval as a PSAN but this is not mandatory, unlike registration. No actor has obtained it yet.

No global regulations

“Some very large foreign platforms are not registered as PSANs. We have alerted the AMF about this,” says Faustine Fleuret, president of the Association for the Development of Digital Assets. This is particularly the case of the behemoths Kraken, Coinbase or Huobi, whose sites exist in French version.

Pierre Noizat also deplores it. “It’s a distortion of competition”, believes the founder of Paymium, a platform created in 2011 and registered with the AMF since March 2021. “Some international players don’t bother to register and therefore don’t have the same constraints as us without the AMF worrying about it. » However, these foreign platforms have customers in France.

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