Australia’s Helio Lending, a leading crypto lender, recently confronted regulatory repercussions. The company faced allegations over a misrepresented credit license.
Helio Lending: The Situation at Hand
On August 17, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) gave its verdict. Helio Lending received a non-conviction bond of 15,000 Australian dollars ($9,600). This bond stipulates one year of mandated good behavior.
The imposed good behavior bond is relatively lenient, especially when considering potential alternatives. To clarify, good behavior bonds address lesser offenses. In Helio’s case, it’s a non-conviction bond. It implies that Helio will be officially convicted only if they breach their bond terms. Notably, the $9,600 bond is far from the steep $160,000 maximum penalty they could have faced.
The root of this issue stems from an August 2019 news piece. In this article, Helio falsely claimed possession of an Australian credit license. To its credit, Helio acknowledged its mistake and pleaded guilty. This admission influenced ASIC’s sentencing decision. Furthermore, charges related to false license representation on their website got withdrawn.
Unraveling the Backstory
Helio is not just an independent entity. It provides crypto-backed loans and operates as an Australian branch of the U.S.-based Cyios Corporation. The latter has varied interests, including an upcoming nonfungible token platform named Randombly.
The ASIC had previously taken action against Helio in April 2022. During a late 2018 investor update, Helio reportedly stated obtaining the contentious license by acquiring Cash Flow Investments.
Moreover, this isn’t ASIC‘s first encounter with crypto-related entities. The regulatory body has been proactive, ensuring strict adherence to established norms. Earlier this month, ASIC targeted eToro, a trading platform. The accusation? Insufficient screening tests before offering specific financial products to retail investors. Similarly, Finder.com faced a lawsuit in December. ASIC contended that the site marketed a crypto yield-bearing product sans the obligatory license.
With the crypto landscape evolving rapidly, regulatory scrutiny intensifies. As Helio Lending’s case demonstrates, transparency and compliance are paramount. It remains crucial for companies to stay informed, act responsibly, and uphold the trust of their stakeholders.
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