Senator Andrew Bragg is once again pushing for regulation to be introduced for Australia’s cryptocurrency sector amid ongoing stock market collapses and US regulators investigating Binance’s alleged illegal activities.
The NSW Liberal, now in opposition, introduced a private senator’s bill to the Senate on Wednesday accusing financial services minister Stephen Jones of being “disinterested in regulating digital assets”.
The Bragg Bill establishes a licensing regime and legal requirements for markets for digital assets and custody services; issuance of stablecoins and reserve lines; and central bank digital currency reporting requirements.
Bragg previously chaired a Senate committee that issued a groundbreaking roadmap for crypto regulation in 2021, which made 12 recommendations. It looked at issues such as regulation and consumer protection, the fintech terror of “debanking” and the taxation of digital assets, and presented us with a legislative roadmap of 12 recommendations that were embraced by the former coalition government. A year ago, the Treasury Department began public consultations on custody and licensing requirements.
After Labor won the federal election in May last year, Jim came in as the new treasurer Chalmers and oneAssistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, announced an additional review of the sector in August. It aimed to map Australia’s cryptocurrency landscape.
In the time between the Senate report and now, several crypto exchanges have collapsed, most notably FTX, with founder Sam Bankman-Fried now facing multiple charges from US regulators. That failure cost Australian investors millions of dollars now that FTX Australia is in liquidation, and echoed through the local crypto sector.
Notably, plans for crypto exchange Swyftx to merge with trading app Superhero to create a $1.5 billion fintech fell apart late last year, with local exchanges cutting hundreds of jobs amid the broader tech downturn.
In recent weeks, two mainstream US banks heavily involved in the crypto space, Signature and Silvergate, collapsed along with Silicon Valley Bank, adding to mistrust of crypto in the financial sector despite subsequent increases in the value of crypto. bitcoin and other crypto currencies.
Last September, Senator Bragg released a draft version of his digital asset regulation bill for consultation. His private senator’s bill, the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023, is likely to be referred to committee by the chamber, but the crypto advocate says Australia is losing the race to regulate digital assets.
“When Labor came to power, they had an opportunity to complete the industry-leading regulatory process initiated by the former Liberal government,” said Senator Bragg.
“Instead of using the consultations already conducted, Labor and Mr Jones decided to restart the process in May 2022. Mr. Jones hurt consumers. Labor exposed Australians to the FTX crash last November. There will be more collapses in this unregulated market. We’ve only gotten a skinny from Mr. Jones since November.’ pamphlet on token mapping.
Bragg said his bill will protect consumers and promote investment.
“Licensing exchanges, custody requirements and stablecoins are included in the bill,” he said.
“Australia can be a hub for digital assets while protecting consumers of digital assets. But we must act now.”