Global Tech Exchange, a cryptocurrency project endorsed by the former Australian cricket captain, Michael Clarke, has folded one year after its launch. The company was in the middle of an initial coin offering (ICO) that aimed to raise $50 million from the public.
However, according to the company website, the ICO “has now ceased in accordance with ASIC requirements”.
Celebrity Endorsement Placed Global Tech in the Limelight
Global Tech Exchange is the brainchild of Andrew McLean and Marlon Donaire. They founded the company with the aim to create an education-based trading and exchange platform for cryptocurrency.
The company came to public notice on August 8, when Michael Clarke posted an endorsement on his Twitter account:
I am really excited to be involved with Global Tech. Their ambition and drive is something that I resonated with straight away and I can’t wait to learn more about blockchain technologies.
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) August 8, 2018
However, the former captain of Australia’s cricket team and national celebrity, Clarke received a severe backlash from his followers for this decision.
A Fast Downhill Run
The company started the ICO in September, planning to raise $50 million by December. But, following the intervention of ASIC, the company has ceased its activity and issued refunds to all the participants. Those who did not receive a refund should contact the company at [email protected]
At the same time, the notice posted on the company website states that Michael Clarke is no longer associated with Global Tech Exchange.
The ASIC website already displays a notice for the voluntary proposed deregistration of Global Tech Exchange PTY LTD. The notice has the date of 19 October 2018. According to the notice, ASIC may enact the deregistration of the company within the next two months.
No Clear Reasons for the Demise of GTE
So far, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission has not issued a point of view about Global Tech Exchange. However, the regulatory body has already prevented the launch of five ICOs this year. ASIC cited concerns about investor protection in these cases.
As The Sydney Morning Herald reports, ASIC Commissioner John Price stated:
You should not simply assume that using an ICO structure allows you to ignore key protections there for the investing public and you should always ensure disclosure about your offer is complete and accurate.
ASIC Is Taking a Closer Look at ICOs
The demise of Global Tech Exchange is, thus, in line with the stance adopted by ASIC. The regulatory body received new powers in April 2018 under the new Australian consumer law. These powers allow it to prevent the launch of prospective ICOs.
In a statement posted on its website in September, ASIC affirmed its plan to act
against misleading Initial Coin Offerings and crypto-asset funds targeted at retail investors. As a matter of fact, Global Tech Exchange is the sixth instance of action taken by ASIC according to its commitment.