Cryptocurrency exchange giant, Coinbase, has issued a compelling call to action during a Senate hearing in Australia, stressing the need for urgent legislation concerning cryptocurrency. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer of Coinbase, emphasized that a clear regulatory framework is vital for the country to maintain its position in the rapidly evolving global crypto arena.
Australia’s Lagging Regulatory Efforts
Shirzad expressed concerns over Australia’s slow progress in the global race for cryptocurrency regulation. Other jurisdictions have already set definitive timelines for implementing crypto regulations, like the Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) initiative in the European Union, expected to be live no later than early 2025, and accelerated consultations in the UK.
Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023
The hearing coincided with the progression of the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023, introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg in March. Bragg sees this bill as a gateway for Australia to establish itself as a digital asset hub while ensuring consumer protection. The proposed bill aims to introduce licensing for crypto exchanges and provide clear custody requirements.
Global Firms and Regulatory Clarity
Faryar Shirzad commended the efforts to bring regulatory clarity, emphasizing how it enables global firms like Coinbase to better serve local markets. He cited Hong Kong’s rapid adoption of crypto regulation as an exemplary model that demonstrates the speed needed to remain competitive.
Support from Kraken
Jonathon Miller, Managing Director of Australia for Kraken, also testified at the hearing and echoed the concerns regarding regulatory uncertainty. He highlighted the challenges it presents to businesses and their banking relationships.
The Call for Swift Regulatory Clarity
Although Coinbase and Kraken remain committed to the Australian market, they emphasize the urgent need for regulatory clarity to ensure the country’s relevance in the global crypto sphere. Swift action in this regard would allow companies to build and invest in a stable, resilient framework for growth and innovation. Australia’s standing in the crypto world is at stake, and decisive action is crucial to maintain its competitive edge.