The primary financial regulator of the United Kingdom, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), warned that ICAP Crypto is a clone firm in a public announcement on May 24.
According to the report, ICAP Crypto is a clone firm of ICAP Europe Limited. Clone firms are a type of scam in which the scammers use information from legitimate firms in an attempt to convince targets that they are genuine.
In this case, ICAP Europe Limited is a legitimate firm that is authorized by the FCA, and its details are being propagated in scams using the similarly-named ICAP Crypto “firm” which is neither authorized nor registered by the FCA.
In 2018, the FCA issued warnings over at least two nominally crypto-related clone firms. The first clone, Fair Oaks Crypto, attempted to confuse targets by claiming to be affiliated with Fair Oaks Capital. The second clone, Good Crypto, ran its scam by misrepresenting some of the registration information of the legitimate firm Arup Corporate Finance as its own.
The FCA stated this week that crypto and forex investors in the U.K. were scammed out of over $34 million from 2018–2019. The FCA went on to say that it was contemplating a ban on “high-risk derivative products linked to cryptoassets.”
The FCA also recently accepted three blockchain businesses into its regulatory sandbox. According to the FCA, previous blockchain projects they have approved include:
“… digital identity solutions, platforms which tokenize issuance of financial instruments, and services aimed at facilitating greater access to financial services for vulnerable consumers.”