ASIC sues Block Earner for alleged unlicensed conduct over crypto-asset-based products
ASIC, the corporate regulator, has commenced proceedings in the Federal Court against a cryptofintech company, Block Earner, for allegedly offering unlicensed financial products to retail investors.
ASIC deputy chief Sarah Court said that:
We are concerned that Block Earner offered financial products without appropriate registration or an Australian Financial Services licence, leaving consumers without important protections. Just because a product hangs on a crypto-asset doesn’t mean it falls outside the Financial Services Act.
Block Earner offered several yielding products based on crypto assets, which were called USD Earner, Gold Earner and Crypto Earner. ASIC claims these are financial products and an unregistered managed investment scheme that required Block Earner to be licensed.
ASIC Deputy Chief Executive Sarah Court noted that:
ASIC is aware that many consumers are interested in buying or investing in crypto assets. Crypto-assets are risky, inherently volatile and complex, and ASIC remains concerned that potential investors in crypto-assets may not fully understand the risks involved. ASIC supports the development of an effective regulatory framework covering crypto-assets to protect consumers and investors.
ASIC argues that Block Earner should have obtained a license when it created a facility where a person makes a financial investment, the products were an unregistered managed investment scheme and/or were a derivative. Block Earner sought to connect investors to Aave and Compound, prominent DeFi lending protocols that compensate for stablecoin lending.
This legal action follows proceedings initiated by ASIC last month against BPS Financial Pty Ltd for alleged misleading statements and unlicensed conduct in relation to the crypto-asset Qoin and against Holon Investments Australia Limited for offering or distributing three funds to retail investors for failing to comply with the requirements. target market regulations.
ASIC is seeking declarations, injunctions and monetary penalties from the court in this matter. The date for the first proceedings has not yet been set by the court.
NY Fed Launches CBDC Pilot
Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NEW Fed) has announced a 12-week proof-of-concept pilot for a central bank digital currency, or CBDC, to explore the possibility of a central bank wholesale digital currency and commercial bank digital money.
The NY Fed will partner with several banking giants in the pilot, including BNY Mellon, Citi, HSBC, Mastercard, PNC Bank, TD Bank, Truist, US Bank and Wells Fargo. These institutions will issue tokens and settle transactions through simulated central bank reserves.
In a press release, the NY Fed said the pilot would
explore the possibility of an interoperable network of central bank digital money and commercial bank digital money operating on a multi-unit shared distributed ledger.
The distributed ledger used for this pilot is called the regulated liability network (RLN), provided by SETL and Digital Asset, and powered by Amazon Web Services.
SWIFT, the global provider of financial messaging services, is also participating in the pilot to support interoperability across the international financial ecosystem.
Per von Zelowit, director of the NY Fed’s New York Innovation Center (NYIC), so:
NYIC looks forward to working with members of the banking community to advance research on asset tokenization and the future of financial market infrastructures in the United States as money and banks evolve.
The NY Fed also said the project could “potentially be extended to multi-currency operations and regulated stablecoins.” Earlier this month, Michelle Neal, head of the NY Fed’s markets group, said it sees promise in using a CBDC to speed up settlement time in foreign exchange markets.
The NY Fed’s pilot is a significant step toward the use of wholesale CBDCs and distributed ledger technology in the regulated financial system. The pilot follows the release in October of the White House’s comprehensive framework for the responsible development of digital assets that encouraged the Federal Reserve to continue its ongoing CBDC research, experimentation and evaluation. The US now joins a growing list of countries piloting a CBDC, including Australia which announced plans to move forward with a pilot in August.
AO Art Ball serves real value
AO Metaverse, the company that released the AO Art Ball Collection for the 2022 Australian Open, which sold out in three minutes during its release in January this year, has announced a significant giveaway for holders of the AO Art Ball NFT. In partnership with Tennis Australia, AO Art Ball holders will be entitled to two Ground Passes to the 2023 Australian Open for every Art Ball they own and exclusive behind-the-scenes streams.
There are currently 6,774 Art Ball Collection NFTs, all available at OpenSea, making this the largest release of tickets for an Australian Open membership program in Australian Open history. Holders of multiple art balls may claim up to 20 tickets if they happen to hold many art balls.
Holders will receive a pass to Finals Week, which runs from January 23 to January 29, access to United Cup matches, player cameras, 3D Stats Explorer and AI customized match highlights. Tennis Australia Chief Commercial Officer Cedric Cornelius said:
As one of the world’s largest sports and entertainment events, we are always exploring opportunities to innovate and we are excited about the additions planned for AO ArtBall 2023. We look forward to welcoming AO ArtBall holders to experience AO this summer
AOArtBalls were assigned a plot on the tennis court, and if a winning shot from any of the Australian Open matches landed on that plot, the Art Ball corresponding to that plot was updated in real-time to highlight that match information, and a digital holographic sticker appeared on the ball housing. The plots will be reset for this year’s Open, so all ArtBall holders have another chance at this upgrade feature.
AO Art Balls won the Entertainment Cannes Lions Award for Sport and has been recognized as a leading Australian Web3 project, bridging the purely digital NFT space to the real world.