Due to the government’s apparent desire to take its time and fully understand the market, confidential government papers indicate that Australia’s crypto law may not be passed until 2024 or later.
The Australian Financial Review claims that documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show that the government plans to hold stakeholder roundtables on cryptocurrency licensing and custody in the third quarter of 2023 and release consultation papers in the second quarter of that year.
The Australian Labor government’s token mapping initiative, which was unveiled three months after taking office last year and whose submission period expired on March 3, has been eagerly anticipated by the sector. The documents state that the cabinet will not receive final proposals until the end of the year, which may cause any decisions on crypto law to be delayed until at least 2024.
The agency apparently indicated in one briefing that they anticipate anger from the crypto industry’s corporate community and consumer advocacy organizations due to the lengthy timeline. “Treasury anticipates certain stakeholders to be frustrated with the perceived delay in introducing a licensing system,” according to a brief from Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers, seen by AFR.
For instance, consumer advocacy organizations looking for instant safeguards and companies looking for regulatory credibility. It does feel that the demand for cryptocurrencies has “weakened dramatically” as a result of the collapse of FTX, which may allow them more time to work out crypto rules.
Treasury believes that these worries are partially allayed by the fact that there is now less consumer demand for crypto assets and that the token mapping effort has to be finished in order to clarify how any new licensing regime would really work in practice.According to the documents, the government has also established a special “crypto policy section” under the Treasury division.
The crypto policy section allegedly raised the possibility of “fit and appropriate person” testing, capital restrictions, and duties to report dishonest business practices and frauds in a meeting with Treasury last November. Also, the unit covered strengthening consumer safeguards.
Over one million Australians will buy cryptocurrencies for the first time over the course of the next 12 months, according to a Swyftx poll from September of last year, increasing the country’s total number of cryptocurrency owners to over five million.