Digital currency advocates in Australia have launched a new code of conduct initiative aimed at promoting self-regulation in the nascent technology space.
The Australian Digital Currency & Commerce Association (ADCCA) announced today the launch of the Digital Currency Industry Code of Conduct, which the group said was a result of recommendations in 2015 Senate report. The initiative was first announced in February.
One of the key suggestions in that report was that, as the government formulates a more concrete strategy for regulating digital currencies like bitcoin, self-regulation among companies working with the tech can help fill the gap. Since then, Australia has moved to extend anti-money laundering rules to bitcoin exchanges – a position reflected in the new conduct code. Meanwhile, officials have been looking at ways to eliminate a much-maligned "double tax" on the purchase of bitcoin.
Nicholas Giurietto, CEO of the ADCCA, said in a statement:
"The self-regulatory model that we have developed gives Australian consumers confidence that they are dealing with a business with standards that they can trust, while implementing AML/CTF safeguards.
Those backing the initiative, including Deloitte's Australian branch, positioned the launch from the perspective of consumer safety and outreach.
"It is all about making digital money safe. Our collective aim is to develop standards of consumer protection that hold participants to account and to a very high standard of conduct," said Richard Miller, Deloitte advisory partner.
The launch comes as Australia continues to implement its fintech policy goals. Yet more changes are on the horizon, as the country's chief financial reporting standards agency has pushed for international work on digital currency standards. Business regulators in Australia have also hinted that they may scrutinize acquisition deals involving blockchain startups or the technologies they've developed.
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