What Could this Mean for the New Exchange?
BTSE has been a source of controversy ever since a Twitter satirist Karbonbased shed some light on the issue. Karbonbased also known as Joshua Davis, posted spicy memes and "hot takes" that poked fun at the cryptocurrency community at large. It was his focus on Blockstream and their CSO Samson Mow that tended to get the most attention, however.
It is important to note that Blocksteam have close ties with the exchange BTSE. Mow is engaged in a very public relationship with BTSE's CMO, Lina Seiche.
BTSE & the Disappearing Footer
Karbonbased also managed to create a parody website defundcrypto.org and a serious investigation in a telegram group called BTSE Trainwreck. As part of their allegations they claimed that BTSE's liscencing in Dubai was unsuitable for a cryptocurrency exchange. Furthermore, they claimed that the footer on BTSE claiming the following did not display when using a UAE IP.
"BTSE is a digital assets trading platform.
BTSE UAE is licensed by the Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai and is under the regulations of the Central Bank of United Arab Emirates. The companies adhere strictly to the quality standards set for Investment Strategies, Services and Financial Reporting by the Central Bank UAE.
Copyright © 2018-2019 btse.com All Rights Reserved"
Our own attempts to confirm the disappearing footer via the use of a VPN were unsuccessful. Despite this, BTSE has confirmed that the footer did not appear for users with a UAE IP via blog post earlier this week. BTSE claimed the following:
"This lack of information in the footer originated in an oversight during a website update, which affected a number of locations. It has now been fixed, and you are able to view the website footer from any location."
BTSE & Licensing
Another very important claim in the BTSE Trainwreck group was that the licensing BTSE has received was incorrect. The licensing they have received from the Department of Economic Development of Dubai was for a payment services provider (814678). These sorts of licenses are generally suitable for money transfers such as Western Union but could be hypothetically be accepted for a cryptocurrency exchange.
As such, we have decided to investigate further and contact the Department of Economic Development (DED) of Dubai. The response we've received surprised us to say the least. Initially the DED had said that they do not issue licenses for cryptocurrency yet. Upon further questioning they have said that a payment services provider license is not suitable for a cryptocurrency exchange.
This seems to raise some serious questions regarding the legitimacy of BTSE as an exchange. They have taken pride in being fully licensed and transparent yet seem far from that. Considering the fact that they are raising a whopping $50 million USD for an exchange token IEO also raises questions. As a new exchange, they do not seem to have the name recognition or popularity to justify such a sum.
Davis's Twitter account @Kabonbased has been suspended, along with some others that poked fun at Mow. While we hope he will return at one point or another, we will continue his investigation and look into his other claims.
Written by Jonathan Ganor
Writer & cryptocurrency aficionado