Government to consult on crypto regulation

The federal government will start consultations on a framework for regulating crypto assets.

According to Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones, Treasury will prioritise “token mapping” work in 2022 to help identify how crypto assets and related services should be regulated.

This hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world, so it will make Australia the leader in this work.

In a joint statement with Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury Dr Andrew Leigh, Jones says Australians are experiencing a digital revolution across all sectors of the economy, but regulation is struggling to keep pace and adapt to the crypto asset sector.

The Australian Taxation Office estimates that more than one million taxpayers have interacted with the crypto asset ecosystem since 2018.

With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events, Jones says the government needs to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected.

He says the aim will be to identify notable gaps in the regulatory framework, progress work on a licensing framework, review innovative organisational structures, look at custody obligations for third-party custodians of crypto assets and provide additional consumer safeguards.