Austrian Regulator Freezes Crypto Mining Firm Amid Investigation

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By Nikhilesh De

Austria’s Financial Market Authority has barred a cryptocurrency mining firm from operating, alleging that the company violated the nation’s banking laws.

The regulator announced Tuesday that it had “prohibited the business model of INVIA GmbH,” a mining firm, claiming that it was offering an unauthorized Alternative Investment Fund in violation of the Austria Banking Act. However, the full investigation into the company has not yet been completed, according to a press release.

INVIA World, the company behind INVIA GmbH, claims to mine the most profitable cryptocurrencies using a proprietary algorithm, as explained in a forum post. The mined tokens are converted to bitcoin or ethereum, which are then paid out to investors.

According to the FMA’s release, INVIA did not register with the regulator, and likewise, is not licensed to offer financial products like alternative investment funds.

The move marks the first time in almost a year that the regulator has warned a cryptocurrency firm to halt its operations. Last July, the FMA stated that OneCoin was not authorized to issue or administer payment instruments, as previously reported by CoinDesk.

At the time, the regulator posted a warning on its website, alerting investors about the fraudulent nature of the scheme.

Austrian flag image via Shutterstock

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