Australian Senator insists on Introduction of Better Crypto Asset Regulations to “Stay Ahead of the Game” and Foster Innovation

Andrew Bragg, an Australian senator, has said that better crypto assets regulations must be introduced in Australia for fostering innovation and staying ahead of the game. The concerned senator belonging to the ruling Liberal Party is currently chairing a senate inquiry into Bitcoin and other digital assets. 

While appearing on Sky News, Senator Bragg said that crypto asset products have already proliferated. That’s why he believes Australia should cultivate a positive business climate for the burgeoning industry. He also emphasized the need for providing consumer protections to the users and investors of cryptocurrencies and crypto products.

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He said:

The reality is these products are out there now, people are using them… We need to make sure that we have the right policy and regulatory environment to be able to maintain our competitive advantage, but also to protect consumers...People are using [digital assets] and we need to have a thorough review of it and see what sort of policy Australia wants to have if we want to be a tech and financial center.

A paper compiled on May 19, 2021, indicated that a committee (inquiring into digital assets) chaired by Senator Bragg is examining cryptocurrency policy in Australia by considering the crypto regulator approaches of the US, Canada, UK, and European Union. 

The concerned Senate paper has warned that a failure in delivering comprehensive crypto regulations may drive away investments offshore and also undermine the competitive standing of Australia within the industry. The paper went on to say:

The committee will be assessing options for the development of a comprehensive regulatory framework for cryptocurrency and digital assets. We want to know what type of policy provision and legal certainty is needed to drive private investment into Australian digital assets rather than the investment occurring offshore.”

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Interestingly, Senator Bragg has underscored the point that the traditional financial system has interests in repressing the growth of crypto and digital asset industries. He said:

There is a strong vested interest in the banking and finance sector to keep the status quo in place where the banks and the public sector sort of, you know, run currency. And we need to interrogate that to make sure that that is the right thing for Australia, because when innovation happens, the solution is not to close the door on it.

When asked about Bitcoin price’s vulnerability to manipulation, Senator Bragg noted that the intention of the committee will be thoughtful and cautious in assessing the crypto assets regulations. He also stressed that:

Everything is open to market manipulation,” he said. “There has been a lot of activity the banks have undertaken over the time as the custodians of the financial sector [...] which has been unsavory.

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