Australian Senate to consider Digital Asset Licensing Law

Published on:

Andrew Bragg, an Australian senator, has advanced a bill to regulate the local crypto market. Will it really “protect consumers and promote investors”?

Reports have emerged of the Australian government taking steps to tighten regulations on cryptocurrency in the Pacific nation. This has raised concerns among the cryptocurrency community. Many fear these actions could hinder the innovation and adoption of digital currencies.

One of the reasons for the government’s proposed crackdown is the need to combat financial crime. The use of cryptocurrencies in money laundering and other illegal activities has raised concerns for many governments worldwide. Australia is no exception.

Countering Bad Actors

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s financial intelligence agency, monitors the use of cryptocurrencies for illegal doings. According to a 2020 report by the agency, the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and other financial crimes is on the rise in Australia.

In response, the government introduced new legislation requiring cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country to register with AUSTRAC. Further, they must comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) rules.

This move is welcome for many in the industry. It will help legitimize cryptocurrencies in Australia and make it easier for individuals and businesses to use them for legitimate purposes. However, there are concerns that the new regulations could be too strict and stifle innovation.

Regulatory Overreach? 

One proposed regulation is a ban on anonymous cryptocurrency transactions. This means that all transactions must be traceable back to their source. This could be problematic for individuals who value their privacy and want to use cryptocurrencies for anonymous transactions.

Another potential issue is the proposed ban on certain types of cryptocurrencies, such as privacy coins like Monero and Zcash. These coins are designed to provide users with increased privacy and anonymity but some have linked them to illegal activities.

While the government has not yet confirmed whether it will implement a ban on privacy coins, many in the industry fear that such a move would be counterproductive. This could drive innovation and the development of digital currencies underground.

Bragg’s Response

Senator Andrew Bragg is ramming through strict new legislation to correct what he sees as a need for more oversight of crypto. Hence the Australian Parliament has weighed a new bill proposing regulations for cryptocurrencies.

The Digital Assets Market Regulation Bill of 2023 imposes numerous strict requirements across various crypto transactional areas, including auditing, segregation of funds, physical presence in Australia, minimum reserve standards, and reporting requirements.

The bill aims to install three licensing permits around exchanges, custody, and whether they can issue stablecoins, a digital asset-backed fully by other assets like the Australian dollar. Senator Bragg says the bill provides minimum capital requirements, appropriate governance procedures, segregation of customers’ funds, and security requirements.

Further, the Senator added: 

“The Digital Assets Bill will put Australia back into the race to regulate.”

Appropriate Measures?

But is a “race to regulate” good for the industry and consumers? Many believe the proposed regulations are necessary to protect consumers and prevent financial crime. They argue that the benefits of legitimizing cryptocurrencies in Australia far outweigh any potential downsides.

BTC Markets chief executive Caroline Bowler said that regulatory clarity has been a significant challenge for the crypto industry in Australia. Therefore, the proposed bill will provide clear guidelines and regulatory frameworks, benefiting the industry by attracting more institutional investors and driving innovation.

Moreover, the Australian government has also been encouraging the development and adoption of blockchain technology, which underpins cryptocurrencies. In 2018, the government announced a $100 million blockchain fund to support research and development in the industry, and several blockchain startups have already received funding from the program.

While the amalgamation of regulatory measures and a supportive government might sound positive, possessing specialized financial knowledge regarding the asset class is essential. Senator Bragg has years of experience in policy and research, but needs more crypto exposure, at least as per his LinkedIn profile. Sometimes, politicians advance such measures for political gain. 

A Balanced Approach

The Australian government is taking a measured approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. There are concerns about the potential impact. Yet many see the regulations as necessary to ensure that digital currencies are for legitimate uses and to protect consumers from financial crime.

On the one hand, regulation can provide clarity and stability to the crypto industry. Thus, making it more accessible to investors and boosting mainstream adoption. It can also protect consumers from fraudulent or illegal activities and prevent money laundering and other criminal activities.

But excessive or poorly designed regulation could stifle innovation and limit the crypto industry’s growth. It could also make it more difficult for small businesses and individuals to participate. Thereby limiting their opportunities to benefit from the potential gains.

Overall, a balanced and thoughtful approach to regulation could benefit both the crypto industry and consumers by providing a stable and safe environment for innovation and investment. However, regulators must consider the crypto industry’s unique characteristics and seek input from industry experts and stakeholders to devise appropriate regulations.


Following the Trust Project guidelines, this feature article presents opinions and perspectives from industry experts or individuals. BeInCrypto is dedicated to transparent reporting, but the views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of BeInCrypto or its staff. Readers should verify information independently and consult with a professional before making decisions based on this content.

Source link


Leave a Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here