Australia’s New Government Finally Signals Its Crypto Regulation Stance

Three months after being elected to power, the Australian Labor Party (ALP) has finally broken its silence on how it plans to tackle crypto regulation.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced a “token mapping” exercise, which was one of 12 recommendations in a Senate inquiry report last year into “Australia as a technology and financial hub.” The report was warmly received by the industry which has been anxiously waiting to see if the ALP government would accept it.

Aimed at taking place before the end of the year, the token mapping exercise is expected to help “identify how crypto assets and related services should be regulated” and inform future regulatory decisions.

Cointelegraph understands that the Treasury will also work on some of the other recommendations in the near future, including a licensing framework for crypto asset service providers that deal in crypto assets from non-financial products, appropriate requirements to safeguard the custody of crypto assets from the consumer and a review. of the company-like structure of the decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

In a statement by Treasurer Jim Chalmers, along with Deputy Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones and Deputy Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Andrew Leigh, the government led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says it wants to control a “largely unregulated measure. crypto industry:

“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.”

The statement noted that more than a million contributors have interacted with the crypto ecosystem since 2018, and yet “regulation is struggling to keep up with and adapt to the crypto asset sector.”

Politicians claimed that the previous Liberal-led government had previously “dabbled” in regulating crypto assets through secondary crypto service providers “without first understanding what was being regulated”:

“The Albanian government is taking a more serious approach to determining what is in the ecosystem and what risks need to be analyzed first.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Piper Alderman partner Michael Bacina said that the token mapping exercise will be an “important step” in bridging the significant educational gap between regulators and policymakers.

“Australia is over its weight in blockchain at the moment, but we have seen regulatory uncertainty drive companies to leave Australia,” he said.

Related: Australia’s World-Leading Crypto Laws Are at a Crossroads: The Inside Story

“A sensible token mapping exercise that helps regulators and lawmakers gain a deep understanding of the activities they seek to regulate and how technology interacts with those activities should help make regulation fit for purpose and support innovation and employment. in Australia while protecting consumers.” he added she.

Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, said the move reflects calls from many in the industry for “proportionate and appropriate regulation” of the sector.

“Additional benefits of token mapping are many. It will provide greater clarity to crypto investors; help companies develop their own blockchain-based innovations; provide guidance for digital currency exchanges; as well as helping regulators shape an appropriate regulatory regime,” he said.

However, Aaron Lane, Senior Lecturer at the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub, believes that the token mapping exercise is something of a delaying tactic by the Labor government:

“Progress is progress, but it is disappointing that we have not moved further down the road towards greater regulatory certainty for the industry and greater protections for consumers.”

“Unfortunately, they have needed to buy time with a token mapping exercise to get them up to speed,” he added.