The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued an interim stop order on the planned initial public offering (IPO) of Bitcoin Group.
According to its website, Bitcoin Group operates a mining pool where investors can earn bitcoins. It also operates Bitcoins Reserve, which claims to offer “cryptocurrency arbitrage,” merchant services, insured cold storage, and “cryptocurrency creation.” The cryptocurrency arbitrage service was claimed to have generated a return of over 205.8%.
Both businesses are based out of: Level 11, 470 Collins Street, 3000, Victoria, Australia. They appear to have different management teams, although the current CEO of Bitcoin Group, Sam Lee, was previously reported as CEO of Bitcoins Reserve.
Last October, Bitcoin Group announced it was seeking to raise $20 million (AUD) through an IPO, which was originally scheduled for last November.
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ASIC did not disclose the reason for the stop order, which can be issued to prevent offers being made under a disclosure document if it contains “a misleading or deceptive statement, an omission of information required to be provided under the legislation, or a new circumstance has arisen since the disclosure document was lodged.”
According to a July 8 press release, the exposure period for the company’s prospectus was extended by 7 days. The stop order was issued shortly thereafter.
In February, ASIC warned Bitcoin Group against further public statements over its intended IPO after it attempted to woo investors on WeChat, a Chinese social media platform.
The stop order can remain in effect for up to 21 days, after which a hearing is held to consider the company’s position. Thereafter, either the interim stop order is lifted or a final stop order is issued.