US regulators have laid charges against XBT Corp. Thursday, alleging that the company had not been registered as a futures dealer (FCM).

In contemporaneous press releases, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) alleged that XBT, also known as First Global Credit, was selling securities-based swaps for bitcoins without be registered in a national market.

According to the charges, XBT solicited or accepted forward orders from 24 US customers between March 2016 and July 2017, accepting bitcoin for margin trades. The company did not register as an FCM during this period.

In total, XBT had at least 90 investors, who made more than 18,000 equity swaps between 2014 and 2019, trading over $ 100 million "on the basis of US-listed securities", according to a Legal Deposit. Of this amount, $ 43.8 million in transactions were made by US residents.

The company will pay more than $ 130,000 in fees and restitution under the settlement, with the SEC providing custody over the next year. The CFTC press release states that the agency "recognizes that the pecuniary monetary penalty imposed on FGC in this case has been significantly reduced given its cooperation and corrective measures".

XBT launched First Credit in October 2014, offering "difference contract" (CFD) derivatives allowing customers to deposit bitcoins in turn to purchase credits representing shares of companies such as Apple.

According to press releases, the US FBI and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) participated in the investigation.

XBT did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SEC image via Shutterstock

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