Just a few hours ago, the FBI announced the seizure of popular stock and Forex trading site 1Broker.com. Claims against 1Broker include money laundering, wire fraud, willful operation as an unregistered broker/dealer of securities, and willful operation as an unregistered futures commission merchant. According the their Twitter account, 1Broker appears to have been in operation since 2013.
The SEC issued a press release stating that “1pool Ltd. a/k/a 1Broker, registered in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and its CEO Patrick Brunner solicited investors from the United States and around the world to buy and sell security-based swaps.” It was also specified that users of the site only needed to submit an email address and username in order to start trading – funding their account with Bitcoin.
For a site trading securities based assets or “swaps”, it is surprising that there was not more KYC (Know Your Customer) information required by users of 1Broker – so legal action such as the aforementioned is not particularly surprising.
1Broker is however, associated with sister site 1Fox, which allows users to trade Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash with leverage of up to 10x. The situation with 1Fox is different, in that Bitcoin isn’t a security, as per the SEC’s ruling earlier this year (2018).
Even though 1Fox may not currently be under fire yet, users are leaving in droves.
If anybody has funds in 1Broker or 1Fox, remove them NOW. They are being sued by the SEC.
— Erik Koz (@KryptoKoz) September 27, 2018
I'd probably get out of 1fox as well. An over abundance of caution due to the association between the two.
— sicarious (@Sicarious_) September 27, 2018
1Fox users have also started to see problems in withdrawing their BTC, with their funds stuck in a “queue”.
Cancel tweet regarding 1fox, my withdrawal has been queued for 90 mins so appears that funds are locked down there as well.
— Troy (@TroyHOZ) September 27, 2018
This fiasco for 1Broker/1Fox comes at a less than opportune time for 1Fox users, as the copy trading feature was recently released just two days ago on September 25.
Users have patiently waited several months for 1Fox to release this feature – where traders would be able to copy other’s trades if they so desired. 1Fox was also finally building up significant trading volume over the past several weeks. The legal action seen today will likely damage 1Fox and all the progress they have made as a leveraged crypto trading exchange up to this point.
Only time will tell how things will play out with both sites.