Senator and outspoken crypto proponent Andrew Braggs addressed the state of cryptocurrency in Australia at NFTFest, stating that the country needed to become a crypto hub.
With the overall state of cryptocurrency regulation in Australia in a dire state, Senator Andrew Braggs spoke out in favor of digital assets. In his speech at NFTFest, he said he was doing so not because he wanted to jump on the bandwagon the rising prices have recently created in Australian media. On the contrary, he had been involved in finance for a long time and developed a passion for cryptocurrencies during that time.
He said that digital assets were a unique form of property rights with limitless opportunities, but also threats to the economy. According to Bragg, cryptocurrencies require a comprehensive framework that would maintain a balance between certainty, stability, and adaptability. Bragg alluded to such a framework being in development and ready to be published by the Select Committee at the end of October. It would focus on three principles:
- Protecting consumers
- Providing a competitive marketplace
- Promoting investment in a dynamic economy
He insisted that regulators “need to leave space for those objectives to be pursued,” indicating that a more lenient framework would be beneficial for the economy. “Complacent incumbent financial institutions” should not be spared competition from emerging digital assets.
Braggs also indicated that more regulation was on the way for exchanges and custodial services and that these platforms would likely follow the example of stock exchange brokerages.
Carbon emissions a crucial factor for Braggs
Following a long-standing talking point of crypto opponents, Braggs agreed that crypto mining must be carbon-neutral to comply with Australia’s goal of getting to net-zero emissions. The country would need to look at every single opportunity to reduce its emissions and wouldn’t undo its progress to support miners, said Braggs.
Particularly Bitcoin has long been accused of being a “dirty cryptocurrency” because of its electricity-intensive way of mining new coins. In countries where said electricity comes from non-renewable energy sources, Bitcoin does leave a significant carbon footprint.
Will Australia finally take a stance on cryptocurrencies?
Braggs speech came at the right moment, given that rising crypto prices are attracting more attention and new investors to the space. Braggs himself called it “a golden window of opportunity” with competitor economies progressing at different stages. By seizing the initiative, Australia could still become a hub for this iteration of international finance. However, if the country did not, it would get left behind since competitors already did so.
Braggs echoes the hopes and apprehensions of many crypto advocates in Australia, which have long been calling for the country’s public sector to react adequately to the rise of cryptocurrencies. While plenty of countries are already looking into CBDCs, few have come forward in favour of cryptocurrencies. By taking the lead, Australian regulators could position the country as a hub of financial innovation that is not afraid to give emerging financial technology a chance. Given that crypto aims to become the future of finance, that may be a promising bet after all.