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Screenshot of a breaking news alert e-mail from Q2 2017
Binary options software platforms provider SpotOption announced that it has become the first company to receive a CySEC license to offer binary options trading. As we wrote several weeks ago, CySEC has become the first European financial regulator to decide that binaries are indeed “financial instruments”, and as such require licensing.
As such, it seems as though SpotOption’s business model has changed. Until now, it was essentially selling / renting software to mainly unregulated brokers which offered binary trading. With its new CIF (Cyprus Investment Firm) license in hand, SpotOption can now hold client funds on behalf of its clients. SpotOption’s clients can themselves license as investment firms which do not hold client funds — a much cheaper proposition — and continue marketing and taking clients while allowing SpotOption to hold the client funds, in a typical “white label” setup.
It remains unclear if other EU / MiFID country members will follow CySEC’s lead and deem binary options to be financial instruments. In the UK, the FSA still regards them as not, although they are regulated as a gaming activity.
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