Australia’s government plans to regulate cryptocurrencies as part of a broader revamp of the country’s payment system.
Jane Hume, Australia’s Minister for the Digital Economy, disclosed that the government will “enable Australians to invest safely and securely in crypto assets” by introducing a market license framework for cryptocurrency exchanges.
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Cryptocurrency taxation, investor protection from fraudsters, and measures to govern digital banks, cryptocurrency exchanges, and brokers are all included in the proposed legislation.
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Hume explained that the new market license system serves as a signal to the public that they can trust the crypto services with which they engage, as Australian crypto enterprises will be verified via a so-called “Australian-made badge of approval.”
On Monday afternoon, the new framework is scheduled to be released as part of a policy paper.
‘Reconstructing’ The Payment System Of Australia
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg emphasized the upcoming regulatory reforms in a December whitepaper, stating that the Morrison administration aims to make the most significant improvements to Australia’s payment systems in the next 25 years.
“If we do not reform the current guidelines, it will be Silicon Valley that determines the fate of our payment system. Australia must retain sovereignty over our payment infrastructure,” Frydenberg said.
Additionally, the federal government is enacting legislation to establish custody agreements for cryptocurrency exchanges.
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Hume explained that:
“We have a strategy in place to ensure that crypto investors who store their funds on an exchange can always access them by instituting custody standards for crypto assets.”
Fostering Growth And Trust
According to Hume, the government’s role in fostering the growth of the country’s crypto economy is to ensure “trust” between crypto investors and exchanges.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was the first to indicate its intention to enter the crypto market, announcing in November that it will begin offering customers the opportunity to purchase, sell, and store crypto assets using its mobile Commbank app. This functionality is presently being tested in a pilot program.
Sophie Gilder, CBA’s director of blockchain and digital assets, said the bank’s strategic decision to roll out crypto services is being driven by its clients’ rising adoption of cryptocurrencies.
Gilder stressed that:
“At the time of this writing, about 700,000 of our customers are actively transferring money to cryptocurrency exchanges, indicating that they are already active in this field. Our customers are already there, whether we’re there or not.”
Frydenberg noted that regulatory infrastructure Down Under requires adaptation, with the government providing stronger strategic direction.
“The government’s comprehensive payment and crypto-asset reforms will cement Australia’s position as one of the world’s leading countries,” he said.
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Featured image from Euronews, chart from TradingView.com
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