Australian Regulators Reveal Crypto Policy Roadmap

Key Takeaways

  • The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has put forward a regulatory roadmap for cryptocurrency assets.
  • The roadmap covers rules for working with crypto-assets, operational risk requirements, and stablecoin regulations.
  • Though each set of regulations has its own deadline, the last set of rules is set to come into effect in 2025.

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The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published a regulatory roadmap for cryptocurrency assets.

Australian Crypto Policy

Australia may be implementing new cryptocurrency regulations over the next few years, according to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

APRA, a regulatory authority that ensures Australian financial institutions maintain certain liquidity standards, among other requirements, has put forward a proposed framework for cryptocurrency regulation in a public letter published Apr. 21.

APRA’s proposed framework covers at least three areas of business. First, APRA will develop requirements for authorized deposit-taking institutions (ADIs)—such as banks—that wish to work with cryptocurrency. Consultations will begin in 2023, while the regulations themselves are set to take effect in 2025.

APRA will also put forward requirements for operational risk management related to both cryptocurrency and other business operations. Consultation for these regulations will begin in mid-2022; the regulations themselves will come into force in 2024.

Finally, APRA will consider regulations for stablecoins that will treat the technology similar to stored-value facilities (SVFs) such as prepaid cards. Consultation in this area will begin in 2023, while the regulations are set to take effect in 2025.

APRA noted that although cryptocurrency activity in Australia is limited compared to other countries, “the potential scale and risks of such activities could become significant over time.”

As such, the regulator is setting out “initial risk management expectations” before the technology grows.

The State of Regulation In Australia

The regulations listed in APRA’s release are not the only policies under development. The letter mentions several other key reports, including an Australian senate committee report from October 2021 that focuses on exchanges, mining firms, and DAOs.

Elsewhere, AUSTRAC has just released new guidelines for preventing ransomware attacks and other crypto crimes.

Current Australian regulations have had varying impacts on crypto companies. Binance has been forced to end derivatives trading in Australia, while FTX has opened an exchange in the country.

Meanwhile, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is attempting to provide crypto services to its clients in conjunction with Gemini, but is reportedly facing regulatory roadblocks.

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21Shares is also expected to offer a Bitcoin spot ETF in Australia next week, an investment vehicle not yet available in the U.S.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. 

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