The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has said crypto assets will remain unregulated, as the country scrambles to find solutions that keep it competitive.
In a statement to investors on Monday, ASIC chair Joe Longo said they should exercise caution when dealing with such products and always be vigilant of potential downsides.
The warning mostly had to do with the fact that crypto products often lack consumer protection measures.
Longo said: “Consumers should approach investing in crypto with great caution. At present many crypto-assets are probably not ‘financial products’ …. for the most part, for now at least, investors are on their own.”
However, he admitted that “crypto is on our doorstep” and that demand continues to climb, eliciting interest from both experienced and inexperienced individuals who are keen on finding out more.
The implications for consumers are huge though, Longo continued, and said that consumers should advance into such ventures forewarned.
He shot down a criticism that ASIC was trying to eliminate risk from investment, saying ASIC was not trying to take risk out of any investment, but rather to address it properly.
This cautious attitude towards crypto comes at a time when the Commonwealth Bank is planning to introduce Bitcoin (BTC) trading and the country’s central bank has called crypto “fads”.
While crypto investments have brought in a solid windfall to successful investors in 2021, there have been numerous reports about crypto scams.
In fact, the DeFi network saw $10.5bn stolen in 2021. Australians alone are on track to accumulate losses of $101m in 2021 due to various crypto scams.
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