A Melbourne-based former cryptocurrency lender has been sentenced to a non-conviction bond. The firm had claimed it held an Australian Credit License (ACL), when in fact it did not.
At the time, Helio Lending Pty Ltd. (better known as Helio) offered crypto-backed loans to consumers using digital assets as security for the loans. According to a statement from Australia’s regulators, Helio claimed in an August 2019 news article that it held an ACL 391330 credit license. Helio has now submitted to a $15,000 recognizance for one year on the condition it meet the conditions of good behavior. If Helio breaks the terms, it will forfeit the $15,000, which until then is held in security.
Australia Introduced Its Credit License Scheme in 2009
The Australian Credit License (ACL) scheme came into play in 2009 as part of the National Consumer Credit Protection Bill. ACL holders have to meet minimum entry standards in order to offer products and services to consumers.
The Australian government requires all banks, credit unions, finance companies, and other lenders, including crypto lenders, to hold one.
Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC) Deputy Chair Sarah Court said in the August 17 statement:
“We expect entities and individuals to provide accurate information to their customers and potential customers. Helio falsely claimed that it held an Australian Credit licence, misleading their customers to believe that they had the protections afforded by such a licence.”
Helio subsequently pleaded guilty to the charges.
More Companies Offering Crypto and NFT Loans
The year 2023 has been a growth year for crypto lending as multiple players have entered the market. The best-known examples of crypto lending come from decentralized finance (DeFi) protocols, Aave and Compound.
In July, crypto exchange Bitget became the latest entrant, with its Crypto Loans product. Bitget’s new product uses a dual-coin system where users stake one coin as collateral to borrow an equivalent amount in another coin.
However, the year’s biggest star is surely Blend, an NFT lending and borrowing service from Blur, which launched on May 1.
The platform proved immediately popular. Within ten days, users had already borrowed a staggering 51,656 ETH—then equivalent to $95 million—against their assets.
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