An Australian based cryptocurrency appears to be making a marketing push in this country amid criticism about its operations in its home base.

Blockchain concept in database managementFile image. Photo: 123RF

Qoin – which is owned by the same company that operates Bartercard – has been suffered a backlash in Australia after it was expelled from the industry group Blockchain Australia, with concerns being raised about the transparency of its dealings.

The concerns centre on a perceived conflict of interest with the owners of Qoin, BPS Financial Limited, also owning the only marketplace on which it can be traded, Block Chain Trade Exchange.

Qoin has been aiming to entice “mum and dad” investors, with the currency being offered as a way for consumer to buy goods and services as well as investing in.

BlockchainNZ said it was looking at a submission that Qoin should be removed as a member because of concerns about its legitimacy and transparency of operations.

An executive member, Stephen Macaskill, said the council was yet to make a decision, but a company operating a cryptocurrency that was tied to one marketplace was not unheard of.

“We’re not endorsing this business by any means, but there’s an international exchange that has their own digital asset and initially when they launched you could only buy their own digital asset on their own exchange, and there are a few of them out there like that,” Macaskill said.

“Over time those assets were listed on other trading platforms.”

Developing a new cryptocurrency took a lot of time and effort to build awareness for the product and eventually get listed on other platforms, Macaskill said.

In his personal view, Qoin was a legitimate business.

The decision to remove Qoin from Blockchain Australia was a sudden move, with no clear reason given at the time.

Macaskill said there were originally two blockchain associations within Australia, which merged, and he was aware of friction between the open source cryptocurrency community and enterprise blockchain companies that do not adhere to the same ethos.

“I can see where members of the crypto community look at Qoin and have a negative view of their platform because they are not open source, decentralised and immutable.”

Because Qoin did not follow that particular philosophy there was opposition to it, but that did not mean it was not legitimate, Macaskill said.

Qoin did not respond to RNZ’s request for comment.

But in a post on its website it said was “extremely appalled” by Blockchain Australia’s decision and that it had always operated within the regulatory guidelines.

The Financial Markets Authority would not comment on whether or not it had received any complaints.