Australia’s cryptocurrency loan provider, Helio Lending Pty Ltd, received a non-conviction bond for inaccurately stating it possessed an Australian credit license.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) disclosed that in an August 2019 article on its site, Helio wrongly asserted they had such a license.
Despite offering loans backed by digital assets, Helio Lender neither had the license nor represented any licensed entity when they made the claim.
After being charged, Helio admitted to the mistake and faced the appropriate penalty.
ASIC’s Deputy Chair, Sarah Court, emphasized the significance of providing truthful information to both existing and prospective clients, pointing out that Helio’s misleading assertions could make customers think they were under the safeguard of a legitimate credit license.
Helio Lending Faces Non-Conviction Bond After Pleading Guilty
Helio has been given a non-conviction bond set at AUD 15,000 ($9,600) for a year, which hinges on them maintaining good behavior.
Such good behavior bonds are often associated with lesser offenses.
This specific sentence implies that only if Helio breaches the bond’s terms will they be convicted. The potential fine of AUD 15,000 is notably smaller than the possible maximum of AUD 160,000 they could have been penalized.
Helio’s admission of guilt influenced the decision for this more lenient sentence.
Another charge related to misleading information on Helio’s website from February 2019 was dropped.
Helio, a branch of the US-based Cyios Corporation in Australia, provides loans secured by cryptocurrencies. They are also linked with the soon-to-launch non-fungible token platform, Randombly.
Crypto Firms in Australia Face Regulatory Scrutiny
This legal move falls under ASIC’s wider initiative to oversee the cryptocurrency industry.
Recently, ASIC has launched several legal cases in the crypto realm.
Just this month, the authority took legal action against the trading platform eToro, accusing them of insufficient vetting procedures before allowing retail investors to access leveraged derivative contracts. Likewise, in the December of the prior year, ASIC filed a lawsuit against the financial comparison website Finder.com, claiming they promoted an unregistered crypto yield product.
The situation with Helio comes on the heels of the National Australia Bank’s decision to halt specific payments to cryptocurrency exchanges labeled as “high-risk” in the past few months.
As previously mentioned, last month during a Senate hearing discussing a crypto bill designed to regulate cryptocurrencies in Australia, mirroring the European Markets In Crypto Assets Regulation (MICA), Coinbase executive Shirazad made an appeal to the lawmakers.
Shirazad, along with other crypto industry leaders, has called on regulatory bodies for more transparent cryptocurrency guidelines in Australia, given the rising ambiguities.