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Hiddup Rebrands Name Amid $41 Million Investigations with Australian Authorities

Jimmy Aki
Last updated: | 2 min read
Hiddup Rebrand

Australian crypto company NGS Crypto rebranded to Hiddup on June 25, following investigations into the company’s operation and legal issues with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

NGS Crypto announced that it changed its name to Hiddup due to a trademark dispute with NGS Super, a superannuation fund. The Hiddup rebrand is amid a major case with the ASIC in which NGS Companies collapsed into liquidation, leading to debt of around 61 million Australian dollars ($41 million) in interest to investors.

Hiddup Rebrands Amid Investigation

ASIC filed a lawsuit on April 9 against three entities tied to NGS – NGS Crypto Pty Ltd, NGS Digital Pty Ltd, and NGS Group Ltd after their collapse. The Australian regulator accused the companies of encouraging Australians to create self-managed superannuation funds, converting these into digital assets, and investing in blockchain mining packages promising fixed returns.

ASIC alleged that the NGS companies operated without an Australian financial services license, violating the country’s laws.

The regulators seek interim and final injunctions to halt the company’s operations until they comply with regulatory requirements.

This also led to the freezing of the company’s funds and assets, which belong to its directors, Mark Ten Caten, Brett Mendham, and Ryan Browns.

The State of Crypto in Australia

Australians have shown a strong interest in cryptocurrency, with over one million owning at least one crypto asset.

The largely unregulated and volatile crypto market poses major consumer risks, exemplified by the collapse of major exchanges, intensifying calls for stricter regulations.

Cryptocurrencies in Australia are primarily treated as investments, with a 2022 ASIC survey finding crypto to be the second most common investment product after Australian shares.

Despite this popularity, many investors may not fully understand the speculative nature of these assets. Notably, the ASIC Chair highlighted the need for regulation to protect investors from widespread ignorance of the risks involved.

High-profile collapses, such as FTX, which impacted 50,000 Australians, have shaken market confidence. Crypto values are subject to dramatic fluctuations influenced by factors as trivial as tweets.

In response to these challenges, Australia has made progress on crypto regulation. The federal government has initiated a ‘token mapping’ exercise to categorize digital assets and determine appropriate regulations.

Plans include introducing a custody regime for digital assets and licensing for crypto exchanges.

The government has also clarified the tax treatment of crypto assets, ensuring they are subject to capital gains tax (CGT), requiring detailed tracking of transactions to determine gains or losses.