Australia is set to become the first country in the world to “token map” the crypto asset sector as the government seeks to protect investors amid a flood of publicity.
The federal government has announced that it will review the regulation of the sector in consultation with stakeholders on a framework.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the review was about allowing “consumers to participate in the marketplace while better protecting them.”
“As it stands, the crypto industry is largely unregulated, and we need to do some work to strike the right balance so that we can embrace new and innovative technologies and protect consumers,” he said.
“With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets, to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered on major sporting events, we need to ensure that customers who interact with crypto are properly informed and protected.”
In what the government has announced as a world first, the Treasury will make a “token map” of the Australian crypto market.
Token mapping is the process of determining the characteristics of all digital tokens available in the country, from Bitcoin to Dogecoin.
It will be part of an audit of the crypto ecosystem, with which, according to the tax office, more than a million taxpayers have interacted since 2018.
“The aim will be to identify notable gaps in the regulatory framework, advance work on a licensing framework, review innovative organizational structures, look at custody obligations for third-party custodians of crypto assets, and provide additional guarantees for consumers,” said Dr. Chalmers.
Earlier this month, the Reserve Bank announced that it would test a digital currency in a “fenced” pilot program.
A public consultation document on ‘token mapping’ will be published soon.