ASIC has taken action to stop cryptocurrency scams.

The finance watchdog recently stopped the issue of a Product Disclosure Statement for a crypto-asset managed investment scheme.

ASIC says there are some consistent issues with this type of scheme, including the use of misleading or deceptive statements in sales and marketing materials, operating an illegal unregistered managed investment scheme (MIS), and not holding an Australian financial services licence.

“If you raise money from the public, you have important legal obligations,” said ASIC Commissioner John Price.

“It is the legal substance of your offer - not what it is called - that matters. You should not simply assume that using an ICO [initial coin offering] structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate.”

In five other separate matters since April 2018, ASIC successfully acted to prevent ICOs raising capital without the appropriate investor protections.

These ICOs have been put on hold and some will be restructured to comply with the applicable legal requirements.

The regulator has also updated its guidance on ICOs and cryptocurrencies.