Australia Rejects Crypto Regulation Bill

Vignesh Karunanidhi
Australia's Central Bank Warms to Digital Currency as the Future of Money
Source: Pixabay

The future of cryptocurrency regulations remains uncertain in Australia after the Senate rejected a new bill that aimed to provide a framework for digital asset oversight.

The Senate Economics Legislation Committee declined to approve the “Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023” introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg. The committee cited a lack of detail and potential conflicts with the government’s existing approach.

Bragg criticized the rejection, claiming the Labor government had “put regulating crypto in the slow lane. The bill sought to establish licensing rules and custody requirements for crypto service providers in Australia.

However, the committee report argued Bragg’s bill was incongruent with international standards and could enable regulatory arbitrage. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese had already initiated a separate consultation process on crypto regulations earlier this year.

Is Australia slowing down on positive crypto regulation?

The rejection highlights Australia’s cautious stance on cementing cryptocurrency laws, even as adoption rises. Like governments worldwide, Australia faces pressure to balance innovation and oversight in the fast-evolving digital asset sector.

While not an outright ban, declining Bragg’s bill shows Australia is pumping the brakes on crypto regulation. The government maintains that it is still consulting with industry players to shape a tailored framework. But the indefinite timeline leaves the country without legal guardrails as crypto innovation charges ahead.

Australia has won praise for embracing Bitcoin’s potential, though specific oversight remains a work in progress. For now, the cryptocurrency industry will anxiously await the government’s next regulatory moves as uncertainty lingers.