ASIC Chief: Blockchain Will Have 'Profound Implications' for Regulators

The head of Australia’s top securities watchdog said earlier this month that blockchain technology will have “profound implications”.

Feb 25, 2016 at 10:20 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:09 p.m. UTC

The head of Australia’s top securities watchdog said earlier this month that blockchain technology will have "profound implications" for how government officials regulate the marketplace.

Greg Medcraft, who has led the Australia Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) since 2011, was speaking before the Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum Roundtable, a discussion forum for public and private finance institutions, at a meeting in London on 15th February.

In his speech, Medcraft discussed the impending "digital disruption" in capital markets, with a particular emphasis on blockchain technology. He argued that regulators need to move to better understand these changes and how to respond to them.

"Given the speed of change – we need to think about that tool kit now," he said.

He spoke about how the potential adoption of the technology in capital markets could boost market efficiency, cut transaction costs, improve transparency and improve access to those markets for both investors and companies looking to raise money.

Medcraft went on to say that blockchain tech has the possibility to reshape how regulators like ASIC operate, but expressed caution against over-regulation – echoing a refrain from a growing number of regulators worldwide, as well as comments he himself has issued in the past.

Medcraft remarked:

"Blockchain will have profound implications for how we regulate. We will need to find the right balance between speed of execution and streamlining of business processes. As regulators and policy makers, we need to ensure what we do is about harnessing the opportunities and the broader economic benefits – not standing in the way of innovation and development."

The ASIC chief also offered details on some of the actions the Australian securities regulator has taken in response, including surveillance of firms and products released in the market and the development of methods for bringing forward enforcement actions in cases that involve blockchain data.

"We are working to understand how enforcement action can be taken where a transaction entered into here or overseas is recorded in the blockchain," he said.

Ultimately, Medcroft noted, regulators need strike the right kind of balance, concluding:

"We want to help industry to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, whether it is from blockchain technology, or other innovations – but not at any price."

Image via Shutterstock

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
San Francisco NFL Player Alex Barrett Taking His Salary in Bitcoin

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

The most valuable crypto stories for Thursday, May 20, 2022.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Justin Sun Still Thinks Algorithmic Stablecoins Are a Good Idea

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

The crypto mogul also said LUNA and UST might make good "meme coins," he said on CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover.”

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Former BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes Sentenced to 2 Years Probation

Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in February, and faced a sentence of up to 12 months in prison.

Hayes pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) in February, and faced a sentence of up to 12 months in prison.

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Market Wrap: Cryptos Decline Amid Choppy Trading, DeFi Tokens Underperform

Aversion to risk remains as volatility returns to stocks and cryptos.

Aversion to risk remains as volatility returns to stocks and cryptos.

CoinDesk - Unknown