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Internal documents have revealed that crypto regulation in Australia may only be expected past 2024 as the government takes time to gather a complete picture of the industry.
Internal documents from the Australian Treasury Department obtained by The Australian Financial Review (AFR) indicate that cryptocurrency legislation in Australia may be delayed well past 2024. According to Cointelegraph, the documents reveal that the government wants to release consultation papers in Q2 of 2023 and will host stakeholder roundtables on crypto licensing and custody in Q3. Submissions to cabinet are not expected until later in the year. The delay in implementing a licensing regime has caused much frustration to crypto-related businesses and consumer groups.
A brief from Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers, as seen by AFR, says:
Treasury expects some stakeholders to be disappointed with the perceived delay in implementing a licensing regime.
The brief adds:
For example, consumer groups seeking immediate protection and businesses seeking regulatory legitimacy.
Despite the frustration from industry players, Treasury argues that in the wake of the collapse of FTX, the demand for cryptocurrencies has decreased significantly, which affords it more time to hash out the details of regulations:
Treasury considers these concerns are somewhat mitigated by the current market conditions resulting in less consumer demand for crypto assets; and the need to complete the token mapping exercise to provide clarity on how any new licensing framework would operate in practice.
The lack of regulation in Australia has also led to some problems with do-it-yourself pension funds. A recent report by Reuters revealed that thousands of Aussies who used DIY pension funds, or superannuation funds, who bet on crypto face millions of dollars in losses.
Australians Bullish on Crypto
The delays in regulation come amid a time when the Australian crypto sector is growing significantly. According to the Annual Australian Crypto Survey for 2022, 26% of adults in Australia plan to buy cryptocurrencies over the next 12 months.
The survey, however, revealed that 44% of Australians believe that the sector is not sufficiently regulated and, as a result, have been hesitant to take the plunge.
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