Australian Bitcoin Scams Are Up 126% In A Week: Watchdog

November 2, 2017 4:00 pm Published by

Bitcoin prices may be soaring, bringing in more profit for cryptocurrency holders, but with this new-found prosperity, reports say bitcoin-related scams are also on the rise, an Australian government study said Thursday.

An independent Australian government authority called the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), tasked with enforcing consumer protection laws, notes there has been a marked uptick in bitcoin-related scams in the country, a Cryptocoin .news report said.

Using ‘Scamwatch,’ the ACCC provides an overview of fraud and scam-related trends taking shape in the country by collaborating with various state and territory consumer protection agencies and other government agencies, the report said.

Posting on social media yesterday, Scamwatch pointed to 77 reports by users reporting bitcoin-related scams last week, the report said.

The fraudulent rise in bitcoin-related scams is more likely at a time of rampant retail investor interest in the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency, the report said.

On Thursday, bitcoin price hit a new all-time high just under $7,000, a staggering 600% value gain for the cryptocurrency since the turn of the year, the report said.

Australian authorities are currently in the process of revising existing laws to include bitcoin exchanges under a regulatory purview, the report said, a move bringing the industry under the scope of Australian legislation for the first time.

Unregistered operators of digital currency exchanges will be liable for a number of civil penalties, as per the revised ‘bitcoin bill’ that is currently being fast-tracked by the Australian Parliament, the report said.

When the measure is passed, the bill will bestow enhanced powers to the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s financial watchdog, the report said, whose chief executive will be entrusted to “make rules to expand or narrow the scope of the digital currency definition.”

Furthermore, the report said, a new designated authority tasked to register and regulate cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia will also be established within six months of the bill’s enforcement.

WN.com, Jack Durschlag



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