Australia Steps up Crypto Regulation With ‘Token Mapping’ Exercise

22 August 2022, 09:15 GMT+0000
Updated by Geraint Price
22 August 2022, 09:15 GMT+0000
In Brief
  • The Australian Treasury will launch a token mapping exercise as part of its bid to regulate the crypto space.
  • It will release a public consultation paper soon.
  • The Australian Taxation Office has estimated that one million taxpayers have interacted with the crypto market since 2018.
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The Australian government has begun its efforts to regulate the crypto space with the announcement of the launch of a token mapping exercise to better regulate the market.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that work was underway on crypto asset regulation “to keep up with developments and provide greater protections for consumers.”

Australia saw the Labor Party come to power about three months ago, and there has been some talk over the past 12 months about the country’s interest in regulating the crypto space. The Australian Taxation Office has estimated that more than one million taxpayers have interacted with the crypto market since 2018.

Token mapping is seen as a priority for the government, and will be the first of its kind in terms of regulatory action. A consultation paper on the exercise will be released soon.

The press release reads:

“The aim will be to identify notable gaps in the regulatory framework, progress work on a licensing framework, review innovative organizational structures, look at custody obligations for third party custodians of crypto assets and provide additional consumer safeguards.”

Recent Australian crypto developments

Australia is no stranger to cryptocurrencies, with several developments taking place this year alone. A partnership with Crypto.com and DataMesh allows Australians to make everyday purchases with crypto, including fuel and at convenience stores.

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The first crypto exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were also launched in Australia in May 2022, though they did not perform particularly well. The ETFs were launched around the time of the crypto winter, so that is an unsurprising outcome.

CBDCs also a focus for Australia

Australia, like so many other countries, is also working on a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The country announced a year-long trial to evaluate the use of a CBDC and is partnering with a government-backed industry group to do so. However, the Australian Central Bank Governor has said he prefers privately issued tokens over CBDCs.

The country joins many others in running trials for CBDCs. The crypto market has well and truly caught the attention of the regulators now, who have mostly been sitting on the sidelines in the years past. Now investors can expect more regulation and the arrival of CBDCs in the next few years.

Disclaimer

BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.