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Australian Senate Committee Divided Over Digital Assets Regulation Bill, Sparks Debate on Crypto Industry Future

CryptoAustralian Senate Committee Divided Over Digital Assets Regulation Bill, Sparks Debate on Crypto Industry Future

The Australian Senate Committee on Economics Legislation has recommended against the passage of Senator Andrew Bragg’s Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023, which aimed to establish a comprehensive framework for regulating digital assets. The committee’s majority opinion advises further research on the topic instead of enacting the proposed legislation.

However, Senators Andrew Bragg and Dean Smith issued a dissenting report, advocating for the bill’s passage with some minor amendments. They proposed excluding nonfungible tokens (NFTs) from the regulated digital assets definition and suggested excluding certain asset-based tokens from the stablecoin category, potentially including tokens like the Gold and Silver Standard and the BetaCarbon Token. They also recommended extending the transition period from three to nine months for a more gradual implementation of the changes and called for a review of the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions, with the aim of introducing new legislation in early 2024.

Senator Bragg introduced the bill in March 2023 to protect consumers and promote investment. It contained regulatory recommendations for stablecoins, exchange licensing, and custody requirements. The dissenting report argued that the current government approach to digital asset regulation in Australia is detrimental to consumers and investment and viewed the bill as a significant step toward implementing a comprehensive digital asset regulatory framework.

The decision by the Senate committee has sparked a debate on the future of crypto regulation in Australia, particularly regarding the treatment of cryptocurrency firms by the banking industry. Concerns have arisen about banks severing ties with crypto companies, potentially driving the crypto industry underground and leading to unintended consequences, as acknowledged by the Australian Department of the Treasury.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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