ASIC bans former National Representative of BitConnect cryptocurrency investment scheme from providing financial

ASIC has banned John Louis Anthony Bigatton, of New South Wales, from providing financial services for seven years.

Between August 2017 and January 2018, Mr Bigatton was the Australian National Representative of online cryptocurrency platform known as BitConnect and a cryptocurrency investment scheme known as the BitConnect Lending Platform.

ASIC found that, in connection with his promotion of BitConnect and the BitConnect Lending Platform, Mr Bigatton provided unlicensed financial product advice and engaged in conduct, in relation to financial products and financial services, which was misleading or deceptive or was likely to mislead or deceive.

ASIC further found that Mr Bigatton:

  • is not a fit and proper person to provide financial services;
  • is not adequately trained, or is not competent, to provide a financial service or financial services; and
  • is likely to contravene a financial services law.

The banning will be recorded on ASIC’s publicly available Financial Advisers Register and the Banned and Disqualified Persons Register.

Mr Bigatton has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of ASIC’s decision

ASIC’s investigation is continuing.

Background

In May 2019, ASIC updated Information Sheet 225 Initial coin offerings and crypto-assets (INFO 225) to help businesses involved with initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets to consider their legal obligations and satisfy themselves they are operating lawfully.

Moneysmart.gov.au has information for investors on the risks of investing in initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies.

ASIC recently issued a Scam Alert after observing a rise in crypto-asset (or cryptocurrency) scams during COVID-19: Scam alert: ASIC sees a rise in crypto scams.

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