“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.”
Ahead of a formal consultation paper with the sector about a regulatory framework, Treasury will this year token map the Australian crypto market.
It will seek to uncover the characteristics of all digital asset tokens available in Australia. That will include the type of crypto asset, their underlying code and any other defining technological features.
The mapping will be used to determine which crypto assets are already subject to financial services law and non-financial products that may require their own special legislation.
Chalmers said this was the first time any country had sought to map out the crypto landscape and the initiative would give a clear insight to help in deciding possible areas of regulation.
“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,” Chalmers said.
“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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