The Australian government has committed to reviewing how the country's central bank and top securities regulator oversee bitcoin and other emerging payment systems.
The Murray Review's name is derived from the committee chairman of the panel that drafted it, David Murray, who acted as chief executive of Commonwealth Bank of Australia between 1992 and 2005. According to the report's introduction, the effort was aimed at "examining how the financial system could be positioned to best meet Australia’s evolving needs and support Australia’s economic growth".
As part of a range of policy commitments related to innovation in the financial system, the government said in its response that it would look at the regulatory capacities of both the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in an effort to create a "graduated" rulemaking process for emerging payments systems, including bitcoin.
The government said:
Though it's the only part of the report that explicitly mentions bitcoin or digital currencies, other measures set to be taken could impact the country's bitcoin ecosystem. These include the creation of a public-private sector "collaborative committee" aimed at strengthening engagement between government regulators and startups and a broad commitment to keep national legislation "technology neutral".
"Technology-specific regulation can impede innovation and competition by preventing the adoption of the best technology or the most innovative business models," the government said, going on to state that it would "consult with the financial sector on priority areas of existing legislation and regulation" as it looks to draft new proposals.
The Australian Treasury did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Australia map image via Shutterstock
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