Australia’s crypto laws risk being overtaken by emerging markets: think tank

The Australian government must step up its pace of developing crypto regulation or risk falling behind in developing markets, according to the chairman of a new crypto think tank.

Loretta Joseph, chair of the Australian Digital Financial Standards Advisory Council (ADFSAC) – the newly launched policy institute under the ADC forum – has warned Cointelegraph that the country risks falling behind others when it comes to developing standards. regulations.

Earlier this year, the Australian Treasury conducted consultations for its “token mapping” exercise to help classify different crypto assets. A consultation paper on a possible licensing framework is expected in mid-2023, while crypto licensing roundtables are expected to take place in Q3. There is also a private bill to speed up crypto regulation.

However, Joseph warned that the pace of regulatory development in the country is still too slow.

“When I go there and see countries I work in like Bermuda, Mauritius and Nigeria moving faster than my own country, it really boggles my mind,” Joseph said, noting the impact of decentralized technology. on “improving the lives of people around the world”.

Bermuda has signaled support for a regulated crypto industry, while Mauritius and Nigeria have been involved in regulating or developing policies for their local industries in recent years.

“We are still trying to figure out how to do a token mapping exercise or write legislation around Bitcoin or Ethereum. We need to be up to date. »

Much of Australia’s crypto ecosystem cannot be covered by existing legislation, Joseph said, and the country must “consider” whether to update or pass new laws in order to “develop and encourage innovation”.

Joseph said she has been involved in drafting crypto policies and laws since around 2017, helping Bermuda draft its digital currency business laws which it passed in 2018.

She saw the need to set up ADFSAC to bring together industry, academia, policy makers and government, adding that she has “never been able to write a bill without input from everyone around the table”.

“It’s the think tanks that are very important for the dialogue to be discussed,” she added.

“Everyone has to be at the table at the same time, because if we’re not, we’re not going to get it right.”

Crypto education will also be a key part of the new institute. “Give me a phone. Let me download you a wallet. Let’s see how easy it is to use, then we’ll discuss why you don’t like it,” Joseph said.

Related: New EU crypto law: how MiCA can turn Europe into a hub for digital assets

As for the policy direction Australia should take, Joseph believes it should align itself with “global standard setters” naming international financial regulators such as the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the Group of action (FATF) and the Financial Stability Board. (FSB).

G7 and G20 government forms will start enforcing crypto rules “very soon,” according to Joseph, and companies that look to jurisdictions with low regulatory hurdles “will not survive in the future.”

“You want to settle in a jurisdiction that gives you legal clarity as a business,” she said.

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