Australia Set for Massive Shakeup to Crypto Regulations: Treasurer

The country will launch its biggest payments reform in 25 years, the treasurer said in an interview.

AccessTimeIconDec 8, 2021 at 5:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Dec 8, 2021 at 10:22 p.m. UTC

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

Australia will announce its biggest reform in the country’s payment systems in 25 years, including crypto, on Wednesday, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said.

  • In an attempt to bring rules for Australia’s payment systems up to date, the new regulations will “broaden the definition of services and products that can be regulated,” taking cryptocurrencies and digital assets “out of the shadows” and into a “world-leading” regulatory framework, Frydenberg said in an interview with 7NEWS Australia on Wednesday.
  • Firms that buy and sell cryptocurrencies will have to be licensed to bring safety and security to users, the treasurer said. The government will also work out a licensing plan for crypto exchanges next year, the Australian Financial Review reported.
  • The treasury will also be working with the central bank on a digital currency, according to Frydenberg.
  • In October, an official from the Reserve Bank of Australia said that there is no strong case for a central bank digital currency in Australia, but that the central bank was ramping up its development to stay ahead of global competition.
  • More than 800,000 Australians own some form of crypto assets, Frydenberg said. That figure is about 3% of the population, much lower than previous estimates based on online surveys.
  • The treasurer’s proposed regulation will also take aim at “buy now, pay later” services. More than five million accounts for such services exist in Australia, he said.
  • Australia’s Senate formed a committee to research crypto regulations in March, and the panel submitted a report to legislators on Oct. 20.

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Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Eliza Gkritsi is CoinDesk's crypto mining reporter based in Asia.