Protecting Your SMSF Investments: Understanding the Risks of Crypto Asset Loss
Navigating Scams, Thefts and Platform Failures
Over the last few financial years, the ATO has seen some instances of SMSF trustees losing their crypto asset investments.
These losses have been caused by:
- crypto scams, where trustees were conned into investing their superannuation benefits in a fake crypto exchange
- theft, where fraudsters would hack into trustees crypto accounts and steal all their crypto
- collapsed crypto trading platforms, many of whom were based overseas and
- lost passwords resulting in trustees being locked out of their crypto account and being unable to access their crypto.
Trustees thinking of investing in crypto need to be aware of the ways that crypto can be lost, including via scams and how they can avoid them. ACCC’s scamwatch and the MoneySmart section on ASIC’s website have some useful information on how to spot scams, including crypto scams and what to do if you’ve been scammed.
Many crypto assets are not commonly considered to be financial products. This means the platform where you buy and sell crypto may not be regulated by ASIC. So you may not be protected if the platform fails or is hacked. When a crypto platform fails you will most likely lose all of your crypto.
Investing in crypto can be complex and risky so it’s recommended that trustees seek financial advice before investing and read both MoneySmart and the ATO’s SMSF investing in crypto assets page.