Blockchain Australia — the industry body for the novel tech in the country — has expelled Qoin, a retail merchant crypto project based in Gold Coast, Queensland.
According to a notice of disciplinary action issued on Feb. 19, Blockchain Australia initially served Qoin with a summons to respond on Jan. 29.
After the summons, Blockchain Australia expelled the project from its membership ranks. Detailing its decision, the notice reads:
“On 17 February 2021, the Board of Blockchain Australia, having considered the Notice and the Response and the circumstances of the matter, resolved, pursuant to the Constitution, to terminate the Member’s membership of Blockchain Australia. The former Member has been asked to cease the use of the Blockchain Australia logo and name in connection with their business or promotional activities.”
Andrew Barker, Qoin's chief marketing officer, told Cointelegraph the statements were false, stating, “BCA chose to unilaterally post their decisioning in the public domain. Within one business day, the very same previous board member of BCA and his known associates, broadcasted the BCA Notice elaborated with further false, misleading, deceptive and defamatory statements across social media channels.“ Barker added:
“The fact that a National Association like BCA has chosen to attack rather than support Qoin, being the largest Australian-based Digital Currency project that engages over 400 families that service 28,000 validated merchants and near 50,000 Qoin wallet holders, is simply bewildering to us.”
According to Barker, Blockchain Australia is acting on allegations propagated by third-party entities who have expressed such views on social media channels like Twitter. The Qoin website no longer displays the project’s membership to Blockchain Australia.
Indeed, Blockchain Australia’s action comes amid allegations that Qoin is a crypto pyramid scheme. Tweeting back in January, crypto educator and founder of Nuggets News Alex Saunders stated:
Biggest crypto scam in Australia I've been warning people about for years is collapsing. For years there was no way to sell $QOIN, but it finally got added to a tiny exchange & even with a $100/day sell limit it's collapsing. Investors stand to lose millions. #ausbiz #scam pic.twitter.com/2KKscwEo1N— Alex Saunders (@AlexSaundersAU) January 27, 2021
According to Qoin’s website, the project works by incentivizing retail merchants to accept the crypto with over 28,000 participants according to the website. However, critics like Saunders say members are unable to cash out from the system.
When asked to comment on scam allegations, Barker said, “We are not aware of any allegations of fraud put forward to Qoin. As per the qoin.world website we emphasise to you that the Qoin Association engages frequently with its legal advisors [...] We continue to operate within the necessary regulatory guidelines and licensing in Australia and New Zealand as we will within each country as we expand over the coming months.“
Blockchain Australia did not immediately respond to Cointelegraph’s request for comments.