Australia’s Byte Power Group Limited, which operates the Byte Power cryptocurrency exchange, has received a slap on the wrist by the country’s financial regulators. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has ordered the company to pay a fine of AU$33,000 (US$23,491) after it determined that Byte Power had not fulfilled certain obligations outlined by the ASIC.
The sage begins in October of 2017. At that time, Byte Power told shareholders that one of its partners in the exchange’s development, Singapore-based Soar Labs Pte Ltd., was “well advanced in the software development and expects to be alpha testing the system robustness before the end of the year.”
However, this apparently was not entirely accurate. According to ASIC, Soar Labs didn’t complete any work for the exchange by December and Byte Power subsequently began trying to source a new exchange software partner.
Byte Power, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), also failed to notify the exchange that the software for the platform was not advancing and that testing would not be conducted by the end of 2017.
As such, the exchange is on the hook for the $33,000 fine for breaching reporting obligations. The ASIC assessed the fine at the request of the ASX, which has suspended Byte Power from being traded on the exchange.
In December of last year, the ASX sent a letter to the crypto exchange, asking for clarification on a number of concerns regarding compliance with the ASX Listing Rules. Less than a month later, the exchange went live and, a few days following the launch, Byte Power announced that it had received a request by ASIC to turn over any legal advice it had received in relation to the company’s loyalty tokens.
It said at the time, “[Byte Power Group] is working with its legal advisors to assist with ASIC’s requests and remains of the firm view that these tokens are not interests in a managed investment scheme.”
The suspension of the crypto exchange on the ASX is going to continue. The ASX is waiting for the outcome of several investigations being conducted by both the ASX and ASIC before making a decision on whether to allow the company to be traded again.
Byte Power has agreed to pay the fine, but asserts that this does not indicate any admission of guilt or liability.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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