Australia digital currency industry keen on regulations, senator says

Digital currency companies in Australia are keen on embracing regulations, according to Senator Andrew Bragg who also revealed that there would be robust regulations for the sector within the next 12 months, which he believes will bring credibility to the sector.

Australia has seen a boom in digital currency adoption in recent years. According to the Australian Tax Office (ATO), there’s an estimated 600,000 taxpayers who have invested in digital currencies in recent years. Another survey by Finder puts this number at 25% of the population, which would be over six million Aussies. This survey further said that the industry is worth $6 billion.

Just this week, the largest Australian bank announced that it would launch digital currency trading services for 6.5 million users. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia will become the first in the country to support digital currencies via its CommBank mobile app, in partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis.

Despite the adoption, the country is yet to implement regulations for the industry.

Bragg, who represents New South Wales, believes this is about to change. In an op-ed for local outlet Finder, he claimed that the digital currency industry is eager for regulations. He said, “To my surprise, I’ve never seen an industry so keen for regulation. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to in this industry understood that regulation would bring credibility and validity to this sector that had been cast aside by many as fanciful and illegitimate for its 12 year lifespan.”

He told the outlet that he expects Australia to formulate and implement regulations for the industry within the next 12 months.

While he didn’t disclose any details about the regulations, it’s safe to assume that they will be enabling and seek to foster innovation. Australia has proven to be one of the countries keen on promoting the growth of the developing industry.

Just recently, Senator Bragg tabled the Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology’s final report on digital assets. The 143-page report contained an in-depth look at the Aussie Bitcoin industry, its growth, future projections, and most importantly, recommendations on how the government can foster this growth.

The report took into account the views and recommendations of several stakeholders. Elas Digital, a software solutions firm led by Brendan Lee, was among those who submitted reports.

As CoinGeek reported, the report recommended a new licensing regime for exchanges, a tax discount for block reward miners who use renewable energy, a DAO structure, recommendations on a CBDC and more.

Bragg believes that the Aussie government will move quickly to implement the recommendations in the report. He believes that this is the only way the country can keep up with its peers, including Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S., who are moving much more quickly on digital currencies.

However, he acknowledged that this will be impeded by the upcoming general election set to take place in the first half of 2022 and a possible change of government.

Some in the Aussie financial industry are not impressed with the pace at which the government is moving. Mark Carnegie, a venture capitalist with digital currency interests, told CNBC that “the speed at which we’re trying to actually implement regulatory change, and the speed with which this technology is changing, are just poles apart.”

Regulations will greatly serve the Australian digital currency industry. The market has seen its fair share of scams, with the ASIC noting a few months back that these scams had shot up 20% this year. Just recently, a Gold Coast-based law firm announced it was filing a $100 million lawsuit against a local token whose founders had allegedly engaged in fraud and pyramid selling.

Digital currencies are coming of age, and with it, there’s a pressing need to stem out the scammers and worthless pump and dump tokens. While some still hold on to the misled idea that Bitcoin is anti-regulation and beyond the scope of the law, recent events have vindicated Dr. Craig Wright who has for a long time admonished those using Bitcoin for illegal purposes.

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