The Italian authority for the supervision of financial markets, Consob, has blocked Gate.io.
Why Consob has blocked Gate.io
On Thursday, 16th December, Consob issued resolution no. 22118, which states that the offer to the Italian public of investment services and activities by www.gate.io, www.gateio.rocks and www.gateio.ws is terminated.
In fact, the website www.gate.io is currently unreachable from Italy.
The resolution states that these websites, available in the Italian language and owned by the company Gate Technology Corp with a registered office in the Marshall Islands, offer, among other things, the possibility to carry out trading operations on standardized financial futures contracts with cryptocurrencies as underlying assets.
This activity is attributed to the provision of investment services, regulated in Italy by art. 1 paragraph 5, of the TUF (Consolidated Law on Financial Intermediation).
The point is that Gate Technology Corp is not authorized to provide investment services to the Italian public because it is not registered in the Consob register.
In Italy, the provision of investment activities and services is reserved for authorized subjects, i.e., Sim, EU investment companies, Italian banks, EU banks, and authorized third-country companies.
According to Consob, this would constitute a violation of art. 18 paragraph 1, of the TUF, and since in these cases the authority has the right to intervene, it has ordered to put an end to the violation by obscuring the sites.
The company now has 60 days in which to appeal to the Lazio Regional Administrative Court.
Therefore the offense alleged against Gate is only that of operating without the necessary authorizations, but this is sufficient to order the obscuring of the websites. This provision of the Consob, however, is only valid in Italy.
The warning on futures trading
Binance also risked something similar last year when Consob issued a warning for the futures section. Binance, however, managed to solve the problem, while Gate apparently preferred not to intervene, ending up forcing Consob to intervene.
Futures in Italy are regulated financial products which require brokers to have specific authorization. In the absence of such authorization, which must be issued by the Consob itself, it is forbidden to make them available to an unqualified public.