ASIC challenges Finder Wallet ruling in court

ASIC appeals Federal Court decision

ASIC challenges Finder Wallet ruling in court


By Mina Martin

ASIC has lodged an appeal against a Federal Court ruling that dismissed the regulator’s case against Finder Wallet.

The initial proceedings alleged that Finder Wallet had provided unlicensed financial services and breached various obligations with its crypto-asset product, Finder Earn. ASIC contends that Finder Earn was effectively a debenture but was offered without the necessary licenses, omitting crucial consumer protections.

After the Federal Court sided with Finder Wallet on March 14, ASIC decided to challenge the decision, taking the case to the Full Federal Court. The date for this subsequent hearing is yet to be announced.

Background of the Finder Earn controversy

Finder Wallet, a branch of the comparison site and an AUSTRAC-registered digital currency exchange, introduced Finder Earn between late February and November 10, 2022.

The service allowed customers to deposit Australian dollars, which were then converted into a stablecoin and promised returns of 4.01% to 6.01% annually.

Following ASIC’s intervention, Finder Earn was discontinued on Nov. 24, 2022, with all customer funds returned.

ASIC’s ongoing efforts against unregulated crypto services

The appeal is part of ASIC's broader strategy to safeguard investors from the risks associated with crypto assets.

The regulatory body stressed that crypto-related offerings can qualify as financial products, necessitating compliance with the legal framework designed to protect consumers.

Recent actions include proceedings against other entities like Block Earner and BPS Financial for unlicensed financial services and misleading statements regarding crypto assets.

Amid these legal battles, ASIC continues to educate consumers about the potential risks of investing in crypto assets through its Moneysmart website, reinforcing the importance of vigilance and due diligence in the rapidly changing crypto market.

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