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The new CEO of Blockchain Australia, Simon Callaghan, is calling on Australian banks, the government and the cryptocurrency industry to come together to fight the growing cryptocurrency scam.
Speaking on the last day of the Australian Blockchain Week in Melbourne on June 30, Callaghan announced that the association will now focus on preventing cryptocurrency fraud, among other things.
“We will have to work with the banking sector. We will have to work with the government,” the CEO said, emphasizing the need to protect consumers.
However, Callaghan noted that scams often occur on social media or telecom channels, noting that police efforts must start from the moment of first contact:
“Cryptocurrency is either an exit point or a minor part of the scam lifecycle, scams go much further down the chain.”
The CEO noted that so far, few countries have managed to effectively cooperate in the fight against cryptocurrency fraud, but shared his hope that Australia can overcome this barrier and set an example for other jurisdictions:
“If we can take the lead on this in Australia, I think we can certainly take it to the rest of the world.”
Cryptocurrency-related scams have been a major topic in Australia over the past month. Since May, Australia’s two largest banks have imposed restrictions or outright bans on certain payments made on cryptocurrency exchanges, citing a growing threat of fraud.
The Australian government has also expressed interest in addressing the issue: on July 1, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the consumer watchdog, is due to open its National Fraud Centre.
According to the ACCC, the NASC will align expertise and resources to prevent scammers from contacting Australians and raise consumer awareness on how to avoid scams.
— Blockchain Australia (@BlockchainAUS) June 29, 2023
Trevor Power, Australian Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, told Cointelegraph on June 26 that the Australian government is investing heavily in reducing fraud and that crypto-related fraud will be a focus for NASC:
“I think it has been pointed out that cryptocurrencies are an important vector for scams at the moment, and so it is clear that this is part of their job, they will also focus on cryptocurrencies.”
Related: Crypto debanking could take industry underground: Australian Treasury
Earlier this week, Blockchain Australia said it plans to look into the fraud data collected from cryptocurrency exchanges and share “best practices” to prevent fraud and scams.
Blockchain Australia is the largest blockchain industry body in Australia. According to the firm’s website, the organization represents 111 blockchain companies in Australia.