Italian Securities Watchdog Orders Unauthorized Crypto Companies to Cease and Desist

The Commissione Nazionale per le Società e la Borsa (CONSOB) has ordered three crypto-related companies providing unauthorized investment services to cease and desist, an official release states Monday, Nov. 19.

The first company, a trading platform called Richmond Investing, has purportedly violated the Consolidated Law on Finance (TUF) — a fundamental law governing Italian financial markets — by failing to register as a financial intermediary in the country.

The  Italian securities market regulator has also suspend the activities of two other companies, Crypton Ltd. and Eagle Bit Trade, along with individual Alessandro Brizzi representing Cryptoforce Ltd., for 90 days.

According to the release, CryptoForce, a company specializing in Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mining, promoted a cryptocurrency dubbed “Crypton.” Brizzi was advertising CryptoForce on Facebook, while Eagle Bit Trade offered ostensibly unauthorized "trading packages" to Italian investors.

The CONSOB enforcement action comes amid recent calls to tighten crypto regulation in the E.U. In September, Brussels-based think tank Bruegel called on E.U. ministers for more scrutiny on how digital currencies were distributed to investors.

In November, German financial regulator BaFin ordered partial cessation of activities by U.K.-based crypto-related firm Finatex Ltd. The company was ordered to cease trading as its activities were not approved by German financial legislation, including the German Banking Act.

While Italy does not have a formal framework for crypto business, in March, the Italian Ministry of Economics announced the creation of a decree that would classify the use of cryptocurrencies in the country and list service providers related to digital currencies.

According to Finance Magnates, the Italian government has not prohibited financial institutions from dealing with cryptocurrencies, but rather recommended that they wait until formal regulations are introduced