Van Der Westhuizen, C. (2018). Do consumers need a ‘Bit’ more protection under Australian consumer laws? The regulatory risks and challenges of Bitcoin. Curtin Law and Taxation Review, IV, 59-77.
The creation of Bitcoin, as a digital currency, has been a significant development in the world of finance, in that it provides an alternative method of payment to consumers and businesses who use Bitcoin as a means to buy or sell goods or simply as an investment arrangement. The use of Bitcoin, as a decentralised peer-to-peer network, provides numerous benefits as a payment system, but at the same time, creates challenges for consumers due to its unregulated nature and volatile status. Therefore, when Bitcoin users enter into agreements with Initial Coin Offering (ICO) hosted companies and Bitcoin exchange platforms, the conduct by these ICOs and exchanges may be misleading and unconscionable in relation to the information they disclose to the Bitcoin user (as a consumer). This paper will consider the application of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and whether the Australian Consumer Law is suited to take into consideration Bitcoin transactions under the misleading and unconscionable provisions.
Australian Consumer Law, Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), digital currency, Bitcoin, misleading and unconscionable provisions