The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has banned a bitcoin company from issuing statements on its proposed initial public offering (IPO) until a formal prospectus has been lodged.

The ban was imposed following a post by Melbourne-based Bitcoin Group on social media platform Wechat to gauge interest from investors if the company were to be listed on the Australian SecuritiesExchange (ASX).

ASIC commissioner John Price said:

"ASIC will often review pre-prospectus advertising or publicity to ensure legal requirements are being met. This is because any statements made about potential offers may influence the investment decisions of consumers who will not have the benefit of all material information that would be included in a prospectus."

The commissioner said companies should be fully aware of their obligations regarding advertising and publicity prior to an IPO.

"If they do not observe these requirements, then ASIC will take necessary action so that investment decisions are made in a confident and fully informed environment,” he added.

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