Delano first learned of the outfit named Bitgamo SA through a Financial Times article published on Wednesday 8 November 2023, where Gabriel Weber, director of communications at Bitgamo, remarked that “The law here in Luxembourg is a bit different than other countries. We’re not forced by the authorities to request KYC from the client.”
Weber responded to Delano’s email query about the claims in the article by stating, “Our platform does not require any license, because we are operating under the commodities law (we declare the crypto purchased as commodities).”
He further explained Bitgamo’s modus operandi of providing above market exchange rates by purchasing cryptocurrencies as commodities and then redistributing them as higher-priced commodities in the Middle East and other regions that are “not really friendly to cryptocurrencies.”
On its website, the outfit stated that it was “founded by a noted financial group with the vision to introduce the benefits of crypto in countries where it is difficult to buy or own cryptocurrencies while addressing privacy related concerns.” Weber declined to disclose the names of its backers, saying they were involved in competing exchanges and Bitgamo wanted to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
Bitgamo employed 23 people in Luxembourg and 29 elsewhere, Weber claimed in his 8 November email to Delano. As reported in the Financial Times article, Weber said that Bitgamo’s average daily trading volume is $50m, without providing any proof.
However, at the time of publication there was no response to further emailed requests for the physical address of the company’s headquarters and company registration details to corroborate that Bitgamo is indeed based in Luxembourg.
The company does not list an address or telephone number on its website.
Delano was unable to find Bitgamo or Bitgamo SA in the Luxembourg Business Register and a spokesperson for the Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) told Delano that the entity “Bitgamo SA is unknown to the CSSF.” The financial regulator also clarified that “no person established in Luxembourg or providing services in Luxemburg may provide virtual assets services without being registered with the CSSF.”
The CSSF stated: “We are regularly confronted with fraudsters who pose as Luxembourg companies in order to defraud their victims.”