ASIC Temporarily Halts Holon’s Cryptocurrency Funds

On Monday, the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission (ASIC) issued an interim stop order against Holon Investments Australia Limited, preventing the firm from offering or distributing three cryptocurrency funds to retail investors.

The funds are Holon Bitcoin Fund, Holon Ethereum Fund, and Holon Filecoin Fund, each investing in a particular cryptocurrency. According to the financial regulator, all of the funds are non-compliant to target market determinations (TMDs).

These funds, as per ASIC, are not suited to the wide target market defined in the TMDs. The funds are targeted at investors with “medium, high, or very high” risk and return profiles, and who are willing to fund as a satellite component of up to 25 percent of their investment portfolio. The funds also allow investors to use them as a “solution/standalone component (75-100%) of their investment portfolio.”

The interim order, which is valid for 21 days, stops the funds from issuing interest.

A Volatile Market

The funds follow the crypto market volatility, and thus the returns also witnessed a rollercoaster ride over the past few months. The Holon Bitcoin Fund generated a return of 21.6 percent in July, only to shed 14.7 in the following month. Since its inception, the fund lost 2.6 percent. The Ether and Filecoin funds lost 6.4 percent and 2.7 percent, respectively, in August.

Holon also manages another fund holding the tech company stocks, which is not covered under the ASIC’s interim order. Interestingly, that mainstream fund, which invested in companies like Meta, Tesla, Alibaba, and Amazon, took the hardest hit over the last 12 months, losing 37 percent of its value. The overall return of that fund is now at 3.7 percent since its 2019 launch.

ASIC’s decision against the crypto funds was triggered by the sector’s volatility and complex nature which makes the investments “risky and speculative”.

“ASIC made the interim orders to protect retail investors from potentially investing in funds that may not be suitable for their financial objectives, situation or needs,” the regulatory announcement stated.

“ASIC expects Holon to consider the concerns raised about the TMDs and take immediate steps to ensure compliance. If ASIC’s concerns are not addressed in a timely manner, final stop orders will be placed on the Funds.”



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