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Mirror Trading International (MTI) has come under fire yet again. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) announced on 18 August 2020, that it is investigating MTI. This comes just days after Global Crypto reported that MTI’s alleged FX provider, FX Choice, had blocked their account.

As described by MTI to the FSCA: MTI accepts clients’ funds in the form of Bitcoin, pools the funds into one trading account on a forex derivative trading platform, and conducts high frequency trading through the utilisation of a bot. The FSCA believes that MTI’s current business model requires it to be in possession of a Financial Services Provider licence.

The FSCA, however, has much greater concerns about the activities of the company: 

“MTI claims to have more than R2.9 billion (at current conversion rates) in clients’ funds in trading accounts, but we have not been able to conclusively confirm that the funds exist.”

The press release went on to state that the returns on the investments claimed by MTI seem to be far-fetched and unrealistic. The FSCA also noted the public statements made by FX Choice that contradict versions of MTI, in terms of trading volume and bot trading. The FSCA mentioned that MTI has partially co-operated with them, but recommended that clients request refunds into their own accounts as soon as possible.

Shortly after the publication of the press release, MTI issued a 5 page newsletter to its users. MTI claimed that they moved the Member Pool (11,000 BTC at the time) to a new, unregulated broker at the end of July 2020. MTI has further refused to name the appointed broker, and claims that it was in the best interests of its clients to do so. There hasn’t, however, been that sort of noticeable BTC transaction on the blockchain over that period. 

MTI further insists that the claims in the media regarding the relationship between the initial broker (FX Choice) and MTI are not true. Global Crypto has, however, received confirmation from FX Choice that the statements made on Forex Peace Army (FPA)  were indeed made by them. FX Choice stated on the forum that MTI’s claims of using Artificial Intelligence were inaccurate.

MTI stated that they have been in discussions with the FSCA where all trading proof, balances and processes have been given to the FSCA. MTI’s CEO, Johann Steynberg, allegedly went to the offices of the FSCA and showed them live trading taking place, as well as live trading pool balances.

One of the topics discussed was the future of MTI being regulated by the FSCA. MTI has, however, outlined that  “after considerable time spent with the FSCA it has become clear to MTI that they will not guide MTI as to what needs to be done in order to be regulated and FSCA approved.”

MTI further stated that, as a result of the current situation with the FSCA, they have decided to change from FX trading to Crypto trading. They have apparently been testing a bot in the crypto space for a number of months. This change will be affected on 21 August 2020. MTI claims that they will continue to seek a FX trading licence to be as compliant as possible.

FX Choice issued an update on FPA sharing the FSCA’s press release, confirming that they have been in contact with the FSCA. FX Choice outlined that they have already passed on their evidence for the FSCA to consider.

Global Crypto will keep you updated as the news unfolds.

Feature image by Csaba Nagy from Pixabay 

Andrew is a law student currently studying at UNISA, and Global Crypto's in-house reporter. Andrew discovered blockchain in his final year of school and since developed a keen interest in the subject. He appreciates a good cup of coffee. When he is not too busy with work or studies, he enjoys playing a good round of golf.