Crypto businesses need trust and certainty
A fitting first heading for this article, as trust from business owners is at the core of this post. Fortunately, Australias cryptocurrency landscape to date has been a positive one. Unfortunately, global regulations are turbulent, with securities frameworks plaguing the token industry with uncertainty.
Trust from business owners and holders of capital cannot be underestimated. Furthermore, crypto and blockchain is a new industry, and one that combines finance, economics, and cutting edge distributed systems. Moreover, the industry is highly complex, and so frameworks need to be in place before strong economic growth can occur.
Australias various agencies have put the front foot forward. The ACCC, ASIC, AUSTRAC, and now the Treasury are actively seeking to understand Australias cryptocurrency landscape.
A brief history on Crypto in Australia
In 2018, AUSTRAC amended the AML/CTF Act 2006 to include ‘Digital Currency Exchanges’. This change included an application process, where businesses could apply and register with AUSTRAC to operate a crypto exchange. According to a recent article, over 246 exchanges have now registered in Australia. No doubt, the pro-active approach by AUSTRAC opened the flood-gates for businesses to operate within a legal framework.
Meanwhile, ASIC was in the background providing additional clarity around ICO’s. Under information sheet 225, guidelines were provided around ICO’s and Managed Investment Schemes. Reference was given to the Corporations Act 2001, and how some ICO’s may be financial products, and thus fall under the purview of the Act and ASIC. Although somewhat ambiguous, it was a good start and has helped token issuers and industry professionals.
Equally important is the role of the ACCC in regards to consumer protections. Normally, the agency would be responsible for protections around ICO’s. However they delegated power to take action on business around misleading and deceptive conduct to ASIC in mid-2018.
A thoughtful approach to ICO regulation
In like manner, the Federal Treasury is consulting the Australian public to understand ICO’s and their potential impact on the Australian economy. In a very well written Issues paper, the Treasury has outlined its understanding of ICO’s and their applicability to existing regulatory frameworks.
I was pleasantly surprised at the understanding of the Australian cryptocurrency landscape exhibited by the authors. In truth, this industry and technology is highly complex, and only truly understood by very few. For this reason, a document written by the Government that shows significant knowledge gives me a level of confidence of our industries future.
At any rate, the Treasury is seeking input from the industry. Our opportunity to provide input into Australias cryptocurrency future is here, and I urge all to take it. Submissions close on the 28th of February, so be sure to get in soon.
Australias cryptocurrency landscape is looking bright
As a result of the pro-active and measured approach by our Government, I’m feeling good about our future. We have in front of us the next age of the communication revolution. Money over internet protocol, i.e. cryptocurrency, is likely to be a serious disrupter in the years to come.
From banks, to supply chains, payment processors, financial intermediaries, you name it – they will be affected. Further, the rate of innovation that occurs in the blockchain ecosystem is incredibly fast. Countries that allow these innovations to occur, and for the much needed capital to foster said innovation, are likely to be rewarded economically and technologically in the long term.
Beau is the Founder & Chief Editor at Cryptocurrency Australia Media, an educational platform designed to help anyone learn about cryptocurrency investment and blockchain technology. Beau is also the Founder & Principal Consultant of Blockchain Management Solutions, a specialist technical and project management consultancy, is an advisor with Masternode Ventures, a blockchain incubator, and is an advisor with THORChain, a new decentralized exchange protocol.