According to Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer of Coinbase, Australia should implement precise regulations for the industry. Shirzad pointed out that the country should swiftly introduce a regulatory framework or legislation for the cryptocurrency industry, He believed that it is the key for Australia to remain competitive in the global landscape since other competing jurisdictions have already set clear timelines for regulation. During a video conference call at a public hearing of the Australian Senate Economics Legislation Committee, the Coinbase executive stated,
“In terms of time frames, you might find it interesting that MiCA will go live probably no later than early 2025. That’s at the outer end. The UK is accelerating its consultation to try to get in front of that timing. So when you’re looking at large global markets in crypto, it does provide a date at which others are trying to organize around.”
He went on to highlight the surprising actions taken by Hong Kong in the crypto industry. The Coinbase exec pointed out how the government has acted swiftly. He added,
“They were able, over the course of the ensuing nine months to issue a consultation paper, take public comment, put out a draft regulation, finalized it, and have it go live. That’s a very, very fast time period and it’s an example of the speed at which markets move to kind of be competitive in the race.”
Where is Australia at with respect to its crypto regulations?
The Digital Assets [Market Regulation] Bill 2023, which was introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg in March, has been gaining significant attention. This bill seeks to implement licensing regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges and provide clarity on custody requirements.
Australia has expressed its intention to initiate a consultation process. This is specifically for licensing and custody requirements for crypto asset service providers. Nghi Luu, an assistant secretary at Australia’s Treasury department, revealed that a consultation paper on the subject is expected to be released in the coming weeks. This was disclosed during the Senate panel discussion.
Amidst these developments, National Australia Bank’s decision to block certain crypto exchanges is noteworthy. The bank justified its move by citing a survey result, where 40% of Australians expressed a willingness to accept slower payments if it meant better protection against scammers. Consequently, the bank seemed to be distancing itself from the crypto space. Therefore, Australia’s stance on crypto has been quite confusing at the moment.