Australia: DeFi & Cryptos like Bitcoin on ASIC’s ‘core’ focus area

Lavina Daryanani

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission recently released its corporate plan for 2022-26, and notably, Bitcoin and other cryptos were one of its “core” focus areas. On its part, the AISC is required to promote and preserve the integrity of Australia’s financial system. And its latest plan echoed the same.

Per the recently released document,

“Crypto-assets and decentralised finance (DeFi) are global phenomena that reach beyond geographic jurisdictions and the remit of any single Australian regulator. ASIC will take action to protect investors from harms posed by crypto-assets that fall within our remit.”

The Commission further outlined its actions over the next few years.

From supporting the development of a practical regulatory framework to taking enforcement action and supervising product disclosure statements, the commission seeks to cover a host of bases.

However, the ASIC’s last set of potential actions prominently stood out. The Commission intends to implement and monitor “the regulatory model for exchange traded products with underlying crypto investments.”

As far as DeFi is concerned, it stated that it will raise “public awareness of the risks inherent.” Alongside, it also plans on working with domestic and international peers to

“monitor risks, develop coordinated responses to issues and develop international policy regarding crypto-assets and DeFi.”

Aussie’s NTRC seeks input on crypto

In another parallel development, Australia’s Northern Territory Racing Commission is reportedly requesting public consultation on using cryptos like Bitcoin as a viable payment method in the industry. As such, gambling in Australia is regulated at the state level, and the NTRC oversees all gambling and wagering companies licensed in the Northern Territory.

Even though the commission is open to weighing different aspects associated with crypto, it clarified that it still needed to remain cautious about adopting cryptos. It argued that volatility must be better understood for consumer protection. It said,

“The Commission is also mindful of recent volatility in the value of cryptocurrency, and the need to ensure that risks are appropriately identified and managed.” 

Traditional banking methods end up failing/bouncing payments, and thus, offshore gambling websites have started using Bitcoin and other cryptos to ensure a higher deposit and withdrawal clearance rate. And the commission’s latest move hints that it is willing to pay heed to the altering consumer preferences.

Per Gambling News, the NTRC expects all feedback to be submitted by 29 September.