Australian authorities shut down unauthorised blockchain mining businesses.

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Following the closure of three cryptocurrency mining companies—NGS Crypto Pty Ltd, NGS Digital Pty Ltd, and NGS Group Ltd—more than 160 million dollars have been lost by hundreds of Australian investors.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) filed civil lawsuits against the businesses and their directors, Brett Mendham, Ryan Brown, and Mark Ten Caten, according to a report dated April 12.

The NGS firms are said to have targeted local investors with the intention of setting up self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) and subsequently converting the money into cryptocurrency for investment in fixed-rate returns on blockchain mining packages.

About 450 investors allegedly gave these businesses a total of 62 million AUD ($40 million), according to the ASIC. These businesses allegedly did business without the required Australian licence.

ASIC has also taken action to stop NGS businesses from providing financial services in Australia without the required authorisation.

ASIC Chair Joe Longo issued a warning to citizens of Australia not to invest in bitcoin with their SMSFs and reaffirmed the commission’s intent to closely monitor cryptocurrency products in order to safeguard investors via regulatory compliance.

In the meanwhile, federal court procedures and liquidation are being faced by fellow Australian cryptocurrency companies DCA Capital, Digital Commodity Assets Pty Ltd, and the Digital Commodity Assets Fund.

The action was taken in response to investor concerns about improper management, improper licencing, and possible violations of managed investment scheme legislation.

Since being appointed liquidators, KordaMentha has found debts owing to 100 investors totalling 100 million AUD ($65 million). Ashod Balanian, the director of DCA Capital, has been ordered to relinquish his passport and has had his assets, valued at 55 million AUD ($36 million), frozen by the federal court.

Regulators in Australia have been giving more attention to its crypto regulatory landscape over the past couple of months. On March 21, ASIC Commissioner Alan Kirkland highlighted the need to solve the “regulatory trilemma” for financial innovation, including consumer protection, market integrity and encouraging financial innovation.

Australia has recently been called a country poised for an “inflection point” of crypto demand. While the local demand for institutional crypto still lags, stablecoins and welcoming policy moves could spark a movement.