The Australian government is expanding its market regulator’s digital asset unit as part of a “multi-stage approach” to clamping down on cryptocurrency and having appropriate risk disclosures from crypto companies.
According to an announcement released on February 2 by Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones, the new regulations are meant to safeguard consumers dealing with cryptocurrencies.
According to the treasurers, the multi-stage strategy would include three components: improved enforcement, improved consumer protection, and the creation of a framework for token mapping reform.
The Australian Securities & Investments Commission’s (ASIC) digital assets unit will grow in size, and “upping enforcement measures” will be one of the major improvements.
According to Chalmers and Jones, ASIC would concentrate on ensuring that risks posed by cryptocurrency products and service providers are adequately disclosed to customers.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the nation’s competition watchdog, will soon receive new tools from the government to better defend consumers from scams involving crypto. It stated that $221 million was lost to scams involving cryptocurrency payments in 2022.
The ACCC will use the new tool, which will be a real-time data-sharing platform, to recognize and stop crypto scams.
New Crypto Framework
When a framework is developed to govern the licensing and custody of digital assets, consumer protection will also be strengthened to ensure customers are safeguarded from preventable business failures or the misuse of their assets by service providers.
However, this framework won’t start until mid-2023, and it might take a while before it becomes a part of the law.
The token mapping consultation paper, which aims to determine which components of the cryptocurrency ecosystem will be regulated and to what extent, was made available by the Australian Treasury on February 2.
The treasurers claimed,
“while the previous administration dabbled in digital assets policy, it never took the time to future-proof our regulatory frameworks to protect consumers and guide this new and emerging class of assets.”
They added that regulators are moving quickly and systematically to ensure that consumers are properly protected and that genuine innovation may flourish.