The Australian government plans to regulate the crypto sector with a 'token mapping' exercise following a call for consumer protection.
The Australian government plans to introduce legislation to regulate the crypto sector later this year.
Financial Services Minister of Australia, Stephen Jones, stated that as a first step, the government will soon launch a “token mapping” exercise that will show which crypto assets it plans to regulate.
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Previously, Australia joined the list of countries to tighten crypto regulations in 2023, following a turbulent year in the crypto market.
According to the report, Jones said the FTX collapse “puts beyond doubt” the need for crypto regulation. He stated that the government focuses on crypto assets that act like financial products, but they remain unregulated. Jones added:
I’m not that attracted to setting up a completely separate regulatory regime for something that is, for all intents and purposes, a financial product.
The source also stated that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Commonwealth Bank support the move to regulate crypto as financial products.
However, the crypto sector lobby group Blockchain Australia has argued that if all crypto assets were treated as financial products, it would harm investment in the sector and lead to the loss of crypto-related jobs.
The government is yet to form its policy, with Jones stating that Bitcoin (BTC) is “attempting to replicate or replace traditional forms of currency.”
New South Wales (NSW) Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg, has proposed a private member’s bill that includes a licensing regime for crypto firms. He has accused the government of not making crypto regulation a priority. Senator Bragg said the most critical issue was consumer protection.
In addition to crypto regulation, the government also plans to introduce a significant change to the data-sharing regime known as open banking.