A recent development has stirred discussion among legislators, crypto enthusiasts, and industry stakeholders in Australia. The nation’s Senate, via its Economic Legislation Committee, has shown resistance against a Bill aiming to regulate the cryptocurrency trading platforms operating within its borders.
InnovationAus.com, an organization researching public policy and business innovation, has shed light on this standoff. The primary obstacle is an internal division over the necessity and application of the proposed Bill, which calls into question the trajectory of crypto regulation in Australia.
Divisions And Deliberations
The Economic Legislation Committee’s report confirmed the extensive groundwork undertaken since the Bill’s inception by Senator Andrew Bragg, a well-known advocate for the crypto space.
Although the Bill’s main objectives, including protecting investors from potential scams, were recognized and even commended, a significant divide emerged among submitters.
The matter to consider is whether the current regulations are sufficient for digital assets or if a specific legislative framework is necessary.
This divide wasn’t restricted to legislative considerations alone. Prominent stakeholders like FinTech Australia expressed concerns about the lack of comprehensive details surrounding digital asset exchange requirements and governance-related matters.
This was echoed in the committee’s assertion that, while there is a unanimous consensus about the need for additional industry regulation, the current Bill fails to offer the clarity and assurance expected by investors, consumers, and the broader industry.
Where The Crypto Bill In Australia Falls Short
The report highlighted significant gaps in the proposed legislation. One of the most prominent criticisms was that the Bill “fails to interoperate with the established regulatory landscape,” leading to genuine worries about potential regulatory arbitrage and subsequent negative impacts on the industry.
Particularly, while its main intent was clear — to protect consumers and bolster the digital asset sector — the Bill struggled to provide sufficient clarity to align with Australia’s broader objectives for the industry.
The report also disclosed that although the Senate pushed back on the crypto bill, the silver lining is that the consultation process has been approved for a restart, indicating that discussions are far from over.
According to InnovationAus.com, Senator Bragg expressed concern over the government’s decision to recommence the consultation process regarding digital assets. He believes this move “has left consumers vulnerable in an unregulated market” and has “redirected investment abroad.”
Senator Bragg emphasized the feasibility of the bill, stating:
The bill demonstrates an Australia crypto bill is entirely viable. Waiting on [for] the government to act is not an option. That is why the Senate should move to debate and pass this bill.
He added that the Senate stepped in when government action on financial matters lagged. So now is the time they did the same for crypto regulation.
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