Australian crypto exchanges have acclaimed propositions by the Australian Treasury regulating these crypto trading platforms under pre-existing financial services licensing methods.
In a consultation paper released on Oct.16, the Treasury detailed a set of new regulations, which indicate a plan to oversee cryptocurrency exchanges through existing financial services rules and introduce additional guidelines for all Australian businesses involved in digital assets.
Notably, three primary focuses were manifested in a speech at the Australian Financial Reviews Crypto Summit on Oct. 16 by Australian Treasury Assistant Stephen Jones. These include establishing a structure to foster industry growth and innovation, providing regulatory assurance to crypto service providers, and ensuring the protection of assets for ordinary consumers.
Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, articulated her satisfaction in achieving a significant “key milestone” in the regulatory process. Said to the press, she also noted viewing the rules as a positive advancement for the broader cryptocurrency industry in Australia: “It’s a great next step for the Australian economy. Digital assets are so clearly the future of financial services. It is imperative that the country keeps pace with our international peers with a robust regulatory framework.”
Sharing the same perspective, CEO of Independent Reserve Adrian Przelozny praised the federal government for proposing more robust regulations and policy changes. He told the press that these new suggestions might contribute to re-establishing trust in the cryptocurrency sector.
“We firmly believe these changes will drive investment, provide certainty to the sector, and ultimately, increase consumer protection.”
Adam Percy, Swyftx’s general counsel, concurred with much of the Treasury’s recommendations, emphasising the paramount importance of ensuring safe access to the benefits of blockchain technology for crypto investors while leaving room for innovation.
On the other hand, Jonathon Miller, managing director of Kraken Australia, voiced concerns that the new regulations might confine the crypto industry within a traditional financial services-shaped framework. Still, Miller acknowledged the consultation paper as a positive step, particularly in offering much-needed regulatory certainty for crypto companies operating in Australia.
“Australia is now in the unfortunate situation where our regulation has taken a very long time, so we’re taking the approach of shoehorning crypto into existing financial services regulation,” said Miller.
Liam Hennessy, a partner at Clyde & Co – an international law firm involved in the consultation process – noted the latest proposal’s alignment with the needs of the Australian crypto industry. Hennessy highlighted the significance of these rules in assisting Australia to catch up with jurisdictions like the European Union (EU), which are more advanced in regulating crypto.
Additionally, Hennessy pointed out that the Australian Financial Services licensing regime can be intricate, implying that local cryptocurrency exchanges and digital asset service providers should start preparing their applications now.