Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) Sees A Sharp Rise in Cryptocurrency Related Fraud


The Austrian regulator reported a record amount of potential frauds in 2020. And cryptocurrencies are at its center, with two-thirds of investment fraud reports related to digital assets trading products.

Besides cryptocurrencies, the frauds were related to gold and stocks, Financial Market Authority said in a statement.

A rise in scam offerings for digital assets was seen on “dubious” platforms that were often advertised on social media like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook, or TikTok, the regulator said.

“We see a great need for stricter regulation,” FMA spokesman Klaus Grubelnik said on Friday.

He further said the prosecution of these cryptocurrency-related frauds was even more difficult because investigations have to be conducted across borders. While fake offerings for bullion and stocks have been around forever, the shaft has now been seen towards the digital assets “because of the hype,” Grubelnik said.

In 2021, so far, the price of Bitcoin has surged past $57,000, hitting a trillion-dollar market cap. The entire cryptocurrency has been enjoying a bull run, with the overall market capitalization going past $1.75 trillion.

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