Australian stock market regulator warns

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has called on the people of Australia to take precautions and equip themselves with knowledge about the risks associated with investing in crypto assets.

Speaking at a Governance Institute conference on September 12, ASIC Commissioner Sean Hughes said the exchange regulator wants new investors to know that investing in crypto assets is a form of extreme risk taking.

“We want to be very clear and unambiguous in our messages to consumers entering the market,” he said.

“We believe crypto assets are highly volatile, inherently risky and complex.”

The commissioner also said ASIC would work with national and international agencies to disrupt and prevent harmful crypto products from targeting Australians.

The Australian Taxation Office estimated that over one million taxpayers in the country have become involved in crypto assets since 2018.

As more and more Australians are getting into cryptocurrencies, few people are aware of the significant risks associated with digital assets.

Hughes told the Governance Institute conference that a survey of 1,000 active investors by ASIC found that nearly half (44%) of respondents held crypto assets. However, only 20% of these people viewed their behavior as risk taking.

He then said that the survey results were similar to those of other countries, as an international study found that unfamiliar or unsophisticated investors in many parts of the world were taking extreme risks when investing in stocks. crypto assets.

A sign indicating Bitcoins Accepted is seen on the front door of the Old Fitzroy pub in Sydney, Australia, September 19, 2013. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, there have been many instances of massive losses suffered by crypto investors this year due to digital asset volatility and scams.

In May, the global crypto market experienced a big crash, which wiped out around US$200 billion (AUD$291 billion) in market value in 24 hours and caused many investors to lose their life savings.

Additionally, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported in June that Australians have lost $113 million to crypto investment scams so far in 2022.

The government is working on crypto asset reforms

The ASIC commissioner’s speech came after the Australian government announced it was working on crypto asset reforms.

In an official statement released in late August, the government said it was aware that regulations were falling to keep pace and adapt to the crypto asset industry.

According to the reform agenda, the Treasury would first prioritize “token mapping” in 2022 to find the right way to regulate crypto assets and related services.

After that, the government will develop a licensing framework as well as establish obligations for third-party crypto asset custodians and additional measures to protect customers.

Alfred Bui

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Alfred Bui is an Australian journalist based in Melbourne and focuses on local and business news. He is a former small business owner and holds two master’s degrees in business law and business law. Contact him at [email protected]

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