The chair of the Australian Digital Financial Standards Advisory Council (ADFSAC) has cautioned that the Australian government must accelerate its efforts in crypto regulation to avoid lagging behind emerging markets. Loretta Joseph, head of ADFSAC, emphasized that without swift action, the country risks being left behind in regulatory development compared to other nations.
Australia’s Treasury initiated consultations for its “token mapping” initiative earlier this year to classify various crypto assets. A paper seeking input on potential licensing frameworks is anticipated to be released in mid-2023, followed by roundtable discussions on crypto licenses in the third quarter. Additionally, there is a private bill proposed to accelerate the process of implementing crypto regulations.
Joseph expressed concern over the sluggish pace of regulatory progress in Australia, emphasizing her disappointment when observing other countries such as Bermuda, Mauritius, and Nigeria advancing at a faster rate. She highlighted the transformative potential of decentralized technology in improving people’s lives worldwide, further emphasizing the urgency for Australia to catch up in this regard.
Bermuda has indicated its endorsement of a regulated cryptocurrency industry, while Mauritius and Nigeria have actively engaged in regulating and formulating policies for their respective local industries in recent times. According to Joseph, a significant portion of Australia’s crypto ecosystem cannot be adequately addressed under current legislation. She emphasized the need for the country to consider updating or implementing new laws to encourage innovation and foster growth in the sector.
Having actively contributed to crafting crypto policy and legislation since 2017, Joseph played a key role in assisting Bermuda in the development of its digital currency business laws, which were enacted in 2018. Recognizing the importance of collaboration between industry, academia, policymakers, and government, she established ADFSAC, emphasizing the significance of inclusive input when drafting legislation. Joseph also underlined the critical role of think tanks in facilitating discussions and promoting dialogue on pertinent matters.
The newly established institute will prioritize crypto education as a crucial component. Joseph emphasized the importance of hands-on experience, suggesting that skeptics should be given the opportunity to download a wallet and witness the user-friendliness firsthand before engaging in discussions about their reservations. Regarding Australia’s policy direction, Joseph advocated for alignment with global standard-setting bodies such as IOSCO, FATF, and FSB, which are international financial regulators.
Joseph believes that the governmental G7 and G20 bodies will soon implement crypto regulations, and companies seeking jurisdictions with lax regulatory requirements will not be sustainable in the long run. She emphasized the importance of establishing operations in jurisdictions that offer legal clarity to ensure the viability and success of companies in the crypto industry.