Regulator wraps probe into Bitcoin trader MTI, says it will assist prosecutors

The South African financial market regulator is considering what action to take against the people involved in Mirror Trading International, the Stellenbosch-headquartered cryptocurrency trading platform that was temporarily disbanded last month.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) said on Tuesday it had completed its probe into MTI, which it installed in late December, after its authorities raided its offices and stopped paying money to tens of thousands members.

With its investigation completed, the FSCA said it would move forward to assist the National Search Authority “with its responsibilities”, while also assisting the group’s temporary liquidators in the “extensive task of completing the liquidation and subsequent apportionments “.

The regulator said it was also working with foreign regulators to “ensure that illegal MTI activities are not carried out in other jurisdictions”.

The trading platform is also the focal point of a criminal search by the Hawks.

MTI promised investors a luxurious return through the Bitcoin cryptocurrency, but had no license head acting as a financial services provider. It also offered commissions for recruiting new members, a feature of multi-level marketing.

Its founder and CEO, Johann Steynberg, had not been heard of in over a month, and may have fled the country.

Before being temporarily abolished, MTI leadership denied it was a ponzi scheme, accusing detractors of being jealous of its success

Earlier this week the group’s head of communications and marketing, Cheri Marks, told Fin24 that only its lost CEO, Steynberg, could explain what happened.