In the context of international governments’ careful and regulatory stance on crypto, Australian regulators have turned down the crypto bill. The committee has instead recommended that the government “continue to consult with industry on the development of fit-for-purpose digital assets regulation in Australia.”
Australia Is Bearish On Crypto’s Future
Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee has made a cold decision to reject “The Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023,” a much-discussed proposal introduced by opposition Senator Andrew Bragg.
Instead of backing the bill, the committee has recommended that the Australian government “continue to consult with industry on the development of fit-for-purpose digital assets regulation.” The recommendation has thrown the future of Australia’s crypto industry into a state of uncertainty and a slow lane.
Senator Andrew Bragg, representing New South Wales, left no words in criticizing the committee’s decision, accusing the ruling Labor government of “putting regulating crypto in the slow lane.”
Going beyond the usual party theory, the committee spotted specific concerns with the proposed legislation. They found the bill lacked the level of detail and certainty that would be required for a clear regulatory framework.
Moreover, the committee pointed out that Bragg’s bill was “not congruent with international regimes.” Such incongruence “causes genuine concern for regulatory arbitrage and adverse outcomes to the industry,” said the committee’s report.
As nations around the world begin to formulate and implement digital asset regulations, any misalignment between Australia’s approach and global norms could put the country at a disadvantage. Experts argue that such regulatory incongruence could deter international fintech firms from entering the Australian market, thereby hampering the country’s ability to become a global hub for crypto innovation.
Last week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pointed out the need for international cooperation on cryptocurrency regulations at the annual G20 summit. As the current G20 president, India is pushing for a unified global framework for cryptocurrency governance. Modi argued in a local interview that emerging technologies like blockchain and cryptocurrency have global implications and should not be regulated solely by individual nations or regional blocs.
Albanese’s Token Mapping Consultation Stalls
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s office has yet to make good on its earlier promise to introduce a consultation paper detailing a licensing and custody framework for crypto asset service providers.
Initially announced in February, this consultation paper was expected to build upon a prior token mapping consultation released through the Treasury. Although slated for a mid-2023 release, the anticipated paper has yet to materialize.
Michael Bacina, Blockchain Australia Chair, said,
“The Senate Committee was expected to report on this Bill over a month ago and the industry has been eagerly awaiting Treasury consultation on crypto-custody and licensing. That consultation should be able to build on the industry submissions published as part of the Senate Committee’s review of this Bill.”