Australian Regulator Releases Statement on Embattled Bitcoin Exchange Igot

The controversy surrounding the Australian digital currency exchange Igot has even captured the attention of Australian regulators. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) released a statement today, which effectively states that the agency can’t intervene at this time due to the murky legal status of the digital currency in Australia.

A spokesperson for ASIC, told The Sydney Morning Herald:

“As with any company, if it were to go into administration or liquidation and there was suspected wrongdoing or breaches of the law, it would be a matter we would look into,”

American entrepreneur and founder of Igot, Rick Day, told ABC News Australia yesterday that all customer funds are accounted for, “I am well aware that customers are affected and customers are really unhappy with this but I would like to show each and every one that we have not lost their money. We have not run away with anything and we will return the money,” he said.

Allegation from disgruntled customers have been mounting over the past few weeks and calls for greater oversight from industry leaders in Australia are coming thick and fast.

“When you’re talking about money, which bitcoin is, governments have to regulate it as best as they can,” said David Temple, Co-founder of a bitcoin voucher payment service Coin Loft, in Melbourne.

CEO of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny agrees with David Temple as well, “What appears to have happened at Igot is very unfortunate and it illustrates the need for greater regulation in the industry.” said Przelozny.

However, Nicholas Giurietto, who is Chief Executive of The Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association, released a statement saying:

“Consumer protection is extremely important [but] letting it get too far and destroying the industry is not a smart move,”

According to ABC News Australia, Jesse Chenard, an American entrepreneur who acted as advisor to Igot in 2014, said that he noticed discrepancies in iGot’s balance sheet, which Rick Day at the time played down as a “small accounting thing”. Following this incident, Chenard promptly withdrew from iGot and even advised his friend Patrick Manasse to leave too.

Furthermore, Jesse Chenard directly accused Igot of misrepresentation, “What people thought that they had bought with their Australian dollars or Indian rupees or US dollars or whatever currency they were dealing in — they hadn’t been actually bought. It hadn’t been bought for them,”

Igot’s website is still accessible and Igot’s official twitter account seems to still be active, with the last reply sent on the 24th of March.

 

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