Australia will become the first country in the world to chart the number, type, and underlying code of available cryptocurrencies.
On Monday, the Australian government is set to announce that it will “token map” its crypto sector as the federal government looks to protect investors from themselves according to an article by WA Today. The move is the first step in the government’s efforts to regulate the crypto area. The country’s tax office estimates that over one million of its citizens have “interacted” with digital assets since 2018. “Token mapping” seeks to uncover the characteristics of all digital tokens available in the country. It will include the type of digital asset, its underlying code, and other defining technological features. The initiative will be used to determine which crypto assets are already subject to financial services law and non-financial products that may need special legislation of their own.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government is looking to improve the crypto regulatory system in an effort to offer more protection to its investors and customers. He said,
As it stands, the crypto sector is largely unregulated, and we need to do some work to get the balance right so we can embrace new and innovative technologies while safeguarding consumers. With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets – to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events – we need to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected.
Chalmers noted that “token mapping” is the first time that any country has attempted to map the digital asset landscape. He added that the initiative would give a clear insight to help in determining possible areas of regulation. Charlmers added:
The previous government dabbled in crypto asset regulation but prematurely jumped straight to options without first understanding what was being regulated. The Albanese government is taking a more serious approach to work out what is in the ecosystem and what risks need to be looked at first. 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.
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