Blockchain Australia calls the state for crypto safe harbor

The Australian crypto industry “cannot afford to wait years for regulatory clarity,” and consumers require confidence to access crypto services, the Australian blockchain association argued.

Blockchain Australia, a major association representing the local cryptocurrency industry, has officially introduced its crypto regulation recommendations to the federal government.

The association filed a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre last Friday, calling the government to provide a safe harbor for local crypto service providers.

Pointing out a set of regulatory recommendations, Blockchain Australia stressed the need for a coordinated and graduated approach to adopt a “fit-for-purpose regulatory framework,” ensuring innovation and competition in the country while enhancing consumer outcomes. 

The crypto advocates emphasized that local industry “cannot afford to wait years for regulatory clarity,” and local consumers require confidence to access regulated crypto services in the country, stating:

“The government and relevant regulators should provide crypto asset providers a safe harbor until such a time that they introduce guidance or legislation. Any legislation should contain an appropriate transition period and not apply retrospectively.”

As part of the recommendations, Blockchain Australia recommended establishing a regulatory working group that works across industries to facilitate greater communication between the crypto industry and financial authorities. “The first exercise to be undertaken by the group should be a token mapping exercise, examining the work done in overseas jurisdictions,” the association noted.

Related: Senator warns lack of regulations could harm Australian crypto innovation

The organization pointed to cooperation with many Australian authorities, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian Taxation Office. Blockchain Australia specifically asked ASIC to update the local custodial service regulation, known as RG133, to explicitly state that licensed custody providers can provide crypto asset custodial services.

The news comes after local financial players expressed more concerns over the cryptocurrency industry in Australia. In mid-July, the Australia Securities Exchange filed a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Financial Regulatory Technology, warning about security risks of crypto custody on centralized crypto exchanges.

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