Austria Shuts Down Alternative Investment Fund Linked to Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency mining can be a very lucrative business under the right circumstances. However, there are also a lot of concerns regarding this particular business model, as some governments don’t take kindly to the idea of mining Bitcoin or altcoins at this stage. In Austria, one major mining operation was shut down earlier this week.

INVIA GmbH and Cryptocurrency Mining

Over the past year and a half, there has been a sharp increase in the number of companies experimenting with cryptocurrency mining. Given the price surge of Bitcoin and most altcoins throughout the second half of 2017, that is anything but surprising. So many people want to be part of this particular ecosystem, and mining cryptocurrencies still sounds pretty exciting.

Even so, there are certain conditions which have to be met prior to setting up a cryptocurrency mining operation. Individuals or companies need the proper hardware in order to do so, as well as access to cheap electricity. Given the negative attention surrounding the electricity usage associated with Bitcoin mining these days, it is only normal that governments are taking a closer look at all mining operations in their respective countries.

In Austria, there are quite a few mining operations active today. Although the country has not made any headlines regarding cryptocurrency recently, it is evident companies are paying close attention to this particular ecosystem. Not all companies are created equal in this regard, though. INVIA GmbH, for example, set up a large mining operation, but their business will soon come to an abrupt end.

That is because the Austrian Financial Market Authority has taken exception to this particular company. The firm offers cryptocurrency mining services as well as “other financial services”. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with doing so. However, the FMA has determined that the company has been managing an Alternative Investment Fund without proper authorization.

As such, the firm is now required to halt that aspect of its business altogether. All of its other activities are also under investigation, even though it remains to be seen how the cryptocurrency mining operation relates to the unauthorized investment fund. It seems all of the company’s ventures are entwined rather closely, although a lot of key information remains shrouded in mystery at this time.

In most countries, cryptocurrency firms need to acquire regulatory approval prior to offering investment products. This is no different in Austria, and the FMA is taking exception to any company not following this basic rule as of right now. It will be interesting to see how things play out for INVIA GmbH in this regard.