Down under in Australia, the crypto lending group Helio Lending got a bit of a slap on the wrist for playing fast and loose with the truth. Yep, they claimed they had a local credit license when, in fact, they didn’t. Naughty, naughty!
The bigwigs over at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) shook their heads and handed Helio a “be-good-or-else” bond. If you’re scratching your head, it’s basically a promise to be on their best behavior. And it’s worth a cool 15,000 Aussie dollars (which is about $9,600 in Uncle Sam’s money). But get this: if they break that bond, it’s game over.
Now, don’t get it twisted. This whole “be-good-or-else” bond is like a get-out-of-jail card. They’re often given out for the smaller oopsies, not the big blunders. And if Helio behaves, they won’t have to cough up a dime. Lucky for them, ’cause the penalty could’ve been a whopping $160,000! Yikes!
The fib? Helio announced in a 2019 news snippet on their site that they had this Australian credit license. But, no cigar! ASIC didn’t let that slide and pulled them into the principal’s office.
But, in a surprising twist, Helio owned up to it, pleading guilty. Maybe that’s why ASIC decided to go a bit easy on them. One of the charges got dropped like a hot potato.
Melbourne-based cryptocurrency lender Helio Lending Pty Ltd has been sentenced to a non-conviction bond for falsely claiming that it held an Australian credit licence when it did not https://t.co/GwrQ5VbRBf pic.twitter.com/gOsHHp02xL— ASIC Media (@asicmedia) August 17, 2023
By the way, here’s a tidbit for you: Helio isn’t just any ol’ lender. They’re all about crypto-backed loans. And they’re the Aussie arm of the big US crypto company, Cyios Corporation. Oh, and these guys are gearing up to launch a new platform called Randombly for those flashy nonfungible tokens everyone’s raving about.
But back to ASIC – these watchdogs have been on a roll lately. Earlier this month, they took a shot at the trading platform eToro. They reckon eToro’s checks and balances were a bit wishy-washy when it came to offering certain contracts. And last December, Finder.com got a piece of ASIC’s mind too. They got into hot water for not having the right license for one of their crypto products.
All in all, it’s clear as day – if you’re in the crypto biz in Australia, you’d better play by the rules or be ready to face the music!