Toni Walker, a 63-year-old investor who had bought $ 1,500 worth of cryptocurrency on MyCryptoWallet for the past four years, said she wanted to withdraw her money earlier this year when she doubled but could not access the exchange .

“I would appreciate the chance to get my money back, but I don’t have a good feeling about it,” she said. “I would also welcome an investigation from ASIC or AUSTRAC.”

The Australian cryptocurrency exchange is largely unregulated. Companies only need to be registered with the financial supervisory authority AUSTRAC to combat money laundering. Unlike exchanges, crypto exchanges do not need to have an ASIC registered financial services license and operate with minimal control.

However, The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald know that the corporate regulator has received a large number of complaints from users and is investigating them. This can lead to a formal investigation by ASIC.

After repeated questions from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, a spokeswoman for MyCryptoWallet denied that there had been problems with the operation of the exchange.

Exchange customers repeatedly informed the company last year via their support emails as well as via Twitter and Instagram. The spokeswoman said the company lost access to its social media pages in 2019 and added unanswered emails to its “IP whitelist of users for our email domain.” Two days after receiving questions from The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, the company replied to users on Twitter and set up a new support email for them to use.

The spokeswoman added it was “absolutely impossible” for the company to cease trading without notifying the authorities, and said agencies like the ATO would check the company’s trading data every six to eight months as part of their digital service provider (DSP ) capture. An ATO spokesman said it had no record of a DSP called MyCryptoWallet.

“It is quite annoying to hear that you are writing an article about false negativity regarding myCryptoWallet and not about the amazing groundbreaking blockchain technology we are offering to Australian users,” the spokeswoman said.

A comment from the company’s support team on Instagram also appeared to reveal a user’s current balance in response to customer issues accessing the exchange.

“We don’t share users’ balance publicly, but if you continue to do so we will have no choice but to make them public when creating FUD [fear, uncertainty and doubt]”Said the comment.

The company said it found 47 users who had experienced a failed withdrawal in the past six months and worked with them to resolve the issue. The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald do not suggest that Mr Koenigsmann is responsible for the users’ lack of funds.

MyCryptoWallet isn’t the only local switch that has encountered problems lately. The big ACX platform was down over $ 10 million last year due to customers. Over 450 digital currency exchanges are registered with AUSTRAC, but barely a dozen of them are mainstream or widely used.

Caroline Bowler, the executive director of Australia’s largest crypto exchange BTCMarkets, told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald that these issues are a prime example of why cryptocurrency exchanges are in desperate need of more regulation.

“Regulation is not about protecting stock exchanges, but protecting investors. Users believe that regulation exists where there is actually a vacuum, ”she said.

“Financial services are the single largest sector for the Australian economy. If we don’t pull the finger out and keep doing it, we risk putting our largest economic sector at risk. “

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Dominic Powell writes about retail for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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