Australia Announces 'Token Swap' Campaign to Accelerate Crypto Regulation
Australian federal government will implement a "token mapping" exercise to inform future regulation of the country's crypto assets, laying the groundwork for "determining how crypto assets and related services should be regulated," according to Bloomberg.
Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the government would prioritize the implementation of the "token swap" campaign by the end of this year, which aims to study Australia's regulatory and licensing framework for handling and operating cryptocurrency-related assets and review the custody of third-party custodians of crypto assets, obligations and corresponding consumer protection measures.
Jim Chalmers said:
"With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets -- to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events -- we need to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected."
The campaign was brought up by the Senate last year, where Prime Minister Anthony Albanese's administration said it wanted to rein in the "basically unregulated" crypto space:
Australia is considered an important financial centre in the Asia-Pacific region, and regulatory uncertainty is likely to cause many outstanding blockchain-related companies to choose to withdraw from the Australian market
Caroline Bowler, CEO of BTC Markets, commented that：
“The additional benefits of token mapping are many. It will provide greater clarity to crypto investors; aid companies in developing their own blockchain-based innovations; provide guidance to digital currency exchanges; as well as assist regulators in shaping an appropriate regulatory regime.”
In March, the government announced plans to introduce legislation seeking licensing and custody measures for the country's growing digital asset industry. The government has also announced potential changes to taxing this emerging asset class.
In November, Australian banking giant Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) became the first major Australian bank to allow customers to buy, sell and hold crypto assets.
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