Losses in Crypto Investments

Losses in Crypto Investments

Over the last few income years, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has seen some instances of SMSF trustees losing their crypto asset investments.


These losses have been caused by:

1. Crypto scams, where trustees were conned into investing their superannuation benefits in a fake crypto exchange;

2. Theft, where fraudsters would hack into trustees’ crypto accounts and steal all their crypto;


3.Collapsed crypto trading platforms, many of which were based overseas; and

4. Lost passwords, resulting in trustees being locked out of their crypto account and being unable to access their crypto.


Trustees thinking of investing in crypto need to be aware of the ways that crypto can be lost, including through scams, and how scams can be avoided.


Trustees can refer to ‘ACCC’s scamwatch’ and the ‘MoneySmart’ section on Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC) website for useful information on how to spot scams, and what to do if they have been scammed.


Many crypto assets are not commonly considered to be financial products, which means the platform where crypto is bought and sold may not be regulated by Australian Securities and Investment Commision (ASIC). Therefore, trustees may not be protected if the platform fails or is hacked, and they will most likely lose all of their crypto.


Investing in crypto can be complex and risky, and so the ATO recommends that trustees seek financial advice before investing. Trustees can also refer to ‘SMSF investing in crypto assets’ on the ATO’s website for further assistance and information.

Ref: ATO website, SMSF Newsroom, 17 October 2023



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