Court rules Finder Earn not a financial product

ASIC's claims of unlicensed operation dismissed

Court rules Finder Earn not a financial product


By Mina Martin

The Federal Court found in favor of Finder Wallet, concluding that its Finder Earn product, tied to crypto assets, was not a financial product and thus did not require a financial services license for operation, ASIC has reported.

Contrary to the corporate regulator’s allegations that Finder Earn functioned as a debenture, the court ruled that the product did not meet such classifications.

ASIC’s concerns and enforcement efforts

Tim Mullaly, ASIC’s executive director of enforcement and compliance, expressed the regulatory body’s initial concern.

“ASIC pursued this matter because we considered that this product was being offered without the appropriate licence or authorisation and therefore without the benefit of important consumer protections,” Mullaly said in a news release.

ASIC is currently reviewing the judgment and has 28 days to appeal.

Implications for crypto-related services

The case underscored the ongoing regulatory scrutiny of crypto-related products in Australia.

Finder Wallet, as an AUSTRAC-registered digital currency exchange, represents entities at the intersection of innovation and financial regulation.

ASIC’s Information Sheet 225 offers guidance on when crypto offerings may be considered financial products, highlighting the legal obligations of entities operating in this space.

Recent regulatory actions by ASIC

The ruling comes amid a series of ASIC’s actions aimed at protecting investors in the crypto market. These include the case against Block Earner for unlicensed financial services conduct and fines imposed on fintech company Bobbob for misleading representations about a crypto-linked investment product.

Furthermore, ASIC initiated civil penalty proceedings against BPS Financial for allegedly misleading statements about its crypto-asset Qoin, with judgment pending following a trial in October.

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