Austrian regulators are calling for tougher cryptocurrency legislation amid a series of complex investment scams that include cryptocurrencies and digital assets.
According to a Bloomberg report released on Friday, the Austrian Financial Market Authority found that more than 60% of all financial fraud reported in the country are related to cryptocurrency trading products.
The FMA reports that these cryptocurrency scammers are using social media platforms like Telegram and TikTok to advertise their fake offers to future victims.
FMA spokesperson Klaus Grobelnik commented on the need for stricter cryptocurrency terms to reduce the risk of this fraudulent investment activity:
“We see an urgent need for more stringent regulation. False offerings of stocks and gold have always been around, and now, due to the hype, these scams are turning into digital assets. ”
The wave of reports of cryptocurrency scams in 2020 could be linked to the general rise in cryptocurrency scams at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year.
Back in 2018, Austrian Finance Minister Hartwig Luger called for the introduction of cryptocurrency regulations across the European Union to combat money laundering.
At the time, Löger’s comments came amid a recently discovered Bitcoin Optioment pyramid scheme that targeted more than 12,000 Bitcoin (BTC) victims of the scam.
Despite the apparent growth in reported investments in cryptocurrency scams in Austria, the country’s traditional stock exchanges remain at the heart of the growing adoption of digital real estate.
Platforms such as the Vienna Stock Exchange have listed a number of cryptocurrency products, a marked departure from the situation in the US, where regulators do not yet allow trading of cryptocurrency money.
In addition to regulated trading, cryptocurrencies are also causing a recovery in Austria with A1 Payment, one of the country’s largest mobile network operators, which will introduce cryptocurrency payments in July 2020.
Regarding blockchain implementation, Iota Foundation partnered with Vienna University of Technology in November 2020 to study research activities in the area of distributed ledger technology.