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Aussie minister welcomes treating crypto assets as financial services

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Australia cracks down on crypto scams, boosts regulatory team

Australia and crypto

Australia’s Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones says it’s okay for the government to regulate certain crypto assets as financial products to protect consumers from FTX-type collapses in the future.

No need for separate crypto regulation

The Australian government gets set to conduct a token mapping exercise later this year, to enable it to formulate a proper digital assets regulatory framework. Meanwhile, Aussie financial services minister, Stephen Jones, firmly believes that bringing certain cryptocurrencies under the purview of existing financial regulations is the right step.

Amid the FTX fiasco and other high-profile web3 bankruptcies since 2022, Jones says it has become crucial for authorities to regulate the crypto industry, paying special attention to unregulated digital assets that function as financial products.

In an interview with a local news source, The Sydney Morning Herald, Jones stated that although he doesn’t want to draw conclusions concerning the outcome of the consultation process of the token mapping exercise before it is conducted, he, however, feels there’s absolutely no point in creating “a completely separate regulatory regime for something that is, for all intents and purposes, a financial product.”

“If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck, then it should be treated like one,” he stated.

Authorities divided on the best crypto regulatory approach 

The issue of crypto regulation has been attracting mixed reactions and opinions from various quarters in recent times. The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Commonwealth Bank think the government should bundle all cryptocurrencies into the financial products category and regulate them as such. The crypto industry advocacy group, Blockchain Australia, is firmly against this approach.

Similarly, Australia’s Liberal Party Senator, Andrew Bragg, introduced the digital assets market regulation bill last September to foster consumer protection.

Elsewhere, US senator Elizabeth Warren recently introduced a bill that seeks to apply the same rules that govern banks and other traditional financial institutions to the crypto industry, attracting criticism from market participants and crypto proponents like Sen. Cynthia Lummis. 

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