Bitpanda’s Evil Twin: Clones Undermine Trust in Crypto
The Spanish financial market regulator, The National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), released a warning list today (Monday) about unregulated entities offering trading platforms for cryptocurrencies and forex to clients in Spain and Europe. Among them is a clone of the popular digital asset exchange Bitpanda, deceptively named Bits Panda.
CNMV Warns against BitPanda Clone
The latest warning list from the Spanish CNMV includes 16 entities primarily involved in FX and crypto trading. The full list can be found in the regulator’s official document.
“According to CNMV records, these institutions are not registered in the corresponding registry of this Commission and, therefore, are not authorised to provide investment services or other activities subject to the CNMV’s supervision, the regulator stated.
However, Finance Magnates drew attention to one specific company on the list, Bits Panda, whose name and website closely resemble that of Bitpanda, a regulated cryptocurrency provider with a long-standing market reputation.
Although the website layout of the clone differs from the original, an investor might think they are dealing with the “real” Bitpanda.
Website of Bits Panda, the clone of a regulated entity.
Real website of Bitpanda.
Are Clones Once Again Disrupting the Industry?
Clone websites were once a significant issue in the retail FX/CFD industry and have now become a problem for commission-free trading platforms and social and cryptocurrency trading platforms as well.
This is confirmed by a September FCA warning against a BUX platform clone, which offers commission-free trading. In August, Germany’s BaFin warned against a clone of FORTEX, and Italy’s Consob blocked access to clones of E*TRADE and ActivTrades in June.
Finance Magnates also reported on the widespread issue of Telegram channels exploiting the names of well-known brokerage brands, including Plus500, eToro, and FXCM, to sell investment signals or offer shady services. Investment scams on social media impersonating established brands have become rampant. As an industry insider said, “Clones are like mushrooms. You take down one, and ten more will take its place.”