Annual Review 2021–22


Cryptocurrency is an internet-based-virtual currency that is created and stored electronically.

Cryptocurrency, or digital asset providers, are generally not required by law to be AFCA members. This is because cryptocurrency is not a regulated financial product under the Corporations Act. However, some providers have chosen to be members of AFCA voluntarily, or have joined as a condition of membership of an industry association.

In 2021–22, AFCA received 198 complaints about cryptocurrency, which is 36% more than the previous year.

AFCA closed 204 complaints (complaints closed included those received in the previous year), the majority of which were resolved by agreement. On average, it took 81 days to resolve a complaint.

The majority of complaints in this area are about whether the cryptocurrency exchange should have been aware the complainant was intending to buy and transfer cryptocurrency to a third-party scammer and acted to prevent the exchange. Given the execution-only nature of these services and the anonymous nature of the blockchain, it can be very difficult to establish whether the financial firm could have identified the scam prior to executing the consumer’s instruction.

198 complaints received

204 complaints closed

Total compensation awarded


57% of complaints resolved by agreement

89% of determinations in favour of financial firms

Stage at which cryptocurrency-related complaints resolved





Rules Review


Case Management


Preliminary View





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