Australia is beginning a review of cryptocurrency assets in the country to help better understand and regulate the industry.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government will make “token mapping” a priority this year to help identify which digital asset tokens are being used in Australia and how they should be regulated, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said in a statement on Monday, adding that a public consultation paper on the matter would be released soon.
Chalmers said the new Labor government would first look at gaps in Australia’s regulatory and licensing frameworks, as well as review organizational structures and examine custody obligations for third-party custodians of crypto assets. It would also look at additional consumer safeguards.
“With the increasingly widespread proliferation of crypto assets — to the extent that crypto advertisements can be seen plastered all over big sporting events — we need to make sure customers engaging with crypto are adequately informed and protected,” he said.
A report by an Australian parliamentary committee into the cryptocurrency industry in October 2021 said one of the major issues in regulating digital currencies was a lack of standard definitions and classifications by national and international regulators.
The former government under Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been planning to outline a cryptocurrency framework by which to regulate and license the industry ahead of its election loss in May.
“The additional benefits of token mapping are many,” said Caroline Bowler, chief executive officer of BTC Markets, in a statement. “It will provide greater clarity to crypto investors; aid companies in developing their own blockchain-based innovations; provide guidance to digital currency exchanges; as well as assist regulators in shaping an appropriate regulatory regime.”