Austria: The Optioment case and new regulatory efforts

The Austrian Financial Market Authority advocates stronger regulation of crypto currencies and ICOs. Helmut Ettl, Chairman of the Financial Market Authority, spoke of fraudulent intentions in the crypto ecosystem, which one wanted to forestall. A prime example of such fraudulent intentions was the Optioment case.

Since the beginning of the year, the „Optioment“ case has mainly occupied the Austrian Bitcoin scene. More than 10,000 people lost up to 12,000 Bitcoin – we reported. In their search for the perpetrators, they went so far as to call in Interpol and spread the search across the whole of Europe.

The three Bitcoin secret Optioment musketeers

Optioment promised up to four percent weekly returns – for investing its Bitcoins with them. The Bitcoin secret had disappeared afterwards just like the presumed backers, who could not be found up to today. In the course of this the public prosecutor’s office investigated against altogether seven persons because of business-like fraud. Read this: Bitcoin Secret Review 2018 » Full Scam Check Only four persons, who led the selling in Austria, could be identified. A Lower Austrian and two brothers from Styria, called the „three Optioment Musketeers“, who met regularly with a contact man, his Tyrolean sign. He is regarded as a key figure. As contact man he is said to have connected the (apparently unsuspecting) Optioment musketeers with the „wirepullers“, the Dane Lucas M. and the Latvian Alex P..

The „long business trip
Whether the latter, however, exist or whether they are just like the promised returns a vertigo, is not yet certain. The key figure last spoke in April: he is currently on a „long business trip“, but will soon be talking to the authorities. He would also like to know for himself where Lucas M. is. After all, he also lost money.

The Tyrolean is a co-founder of Cointed, who have since distanced themselves from him. So it happened that the authorities searched Cointed’s rooms. Because the Bitcoin vending machines, which were set up at Optioment events and with which investors were bounced for their money, came from this very company. This allowed them to put their cash directly into the machines and invest the Bitcoin in Optioment. Accordingly, the rooms of Cointed were also searched, but no incriminating material was found. Cointed promised to cooperate with the authorities and distanced himself from that Tyrolean. The Provincial Police Headquarters in Vienna estimated the damage at 100 million euros in February.

Current regulatory cryptosoft efforts – a delayed reaction?

It is a case that an Austrian law firm later described as „one of the biggest criminal cases involving cryptosoft currencies“. Now he apparently – albeit somewhat belatedly – is calling the regulatory authorities onto the scene. The chairman of the Austrian Financial Market Authority calls for stricter regulation of cryptosoft currencies and ICOs. One of the reasons for this is to prevent fraud:

„Last year, we submitted 50 factual reports to the public prosecutor’s office. About 30 of them dealt with crypto currencies and initial coin offerings,

said Helmut Ettl at a press conference in Austria.

Ettl also called for a classification of crypto currencies based on foreign exchange trading in order to create more equality there: „You need a mini-bank licence to buy and sell foreign exchange“, Ettl continued, „that’s not proportionate“.

After all, ICOs with a threshold value of presumably two million euros or more are required to have a securities prospectus. In addition, traders with crypto currencies should be obliged to hold a concession.

Until this is enforced, perhaps that Tyrolean will also speak up and talk about his „long business trip“. It remains exciting.

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