- Crypto legislation in Australia may be delayed until 2024 or later, as the government is looking to get a complete picture of the industry.
- Treasury anticipates that some stakeholders such as consumer groups will be disappointed by the perceived delay in the implementation of a licensing regime.
Crypto legislation in Australia may be delayed until 2024 or later, as the government is looking forward to taking its time in order to get a complete picture of the industry.
The Australian Financial Review obtained internal government documents under freedom of information laws and revealed the said information.
The documents revealed that the government intends to release consultation papers in the second quarter of 2023 and to hold stakeholder roundtables on cryptocurrency licensing and custody in the third quarter.
The industry has been waiting for the next steps in the Australian Labor government’s token mapping exercise, which was announced three months after it took power last year and closed submissions on 3 March.
Final cabinet submissions are not expected until late in the year, potentially pushing any decisions on crypto legislation well into 2024 and beyond.
According to one department briefing, the authorities expect exasperation from crypto businesses and consumer groups due to the lengthy timeline.
Certain groups are bound to be disappointed
Treasury anticipates that some stakeholders will be disappointed by the perceived delay in the implementation of a licensing regime. Consumer groups looking for immediate protection and businesses looking for regulatory legitimacy will be disappointed.
The Treasury, on the other hand, believes that in the aftermath of FTX’s collapse, demand for cryptocurrencies has weakened significantly, giving it more time to work out regulations.
The crypto policy unit reportedly flagged possible requirements for crypto licenses in a meeting with the Treasury last November, including fit and proper person tests, capital requirements, and obligations to report bad actors and scams in the industry.
Meanwhile, documents show that the government has established a dedicated crypto policy unit within the Treasury department.
According to a Swyftx survey published in September last year, approximately one million Australians planned to purchase cryptocurrency for the first time in the next 12 months, bringing total crypto ownership in the country to more than five million.