The Australian politician and Federal Treasurer – Josh Frydenberg – indicated that Australia would implement a “comprehensive payments and crypto-asset reform plan” next year.
The legislation is expected to enhance innovation and consumer uptake of digital technologies and place the state as one of the global cryptocurrency leaders.
What Does 2022 Hold for Australia’s Crypto Industry?
Josh Frydenberg revealed Australia’s cryptocurrency intentions during the Australian-Israel Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday (December 8). Throughout next year, local authorities will discuss potential reforms such as creating a better ecosystem for crypto traders, implementing a regulatory framework on digital asset exchanges, and launching a central bank digital currency.
The reform proposal, which is said to be the biggest in the last 25 years, assures it would enable Aussies to buy and sell bitcoin and alternative coins in a regulated environment. There will also be new rules for companies that hold cryptocurrencies on behalf of clients.
“For consumers, these changes will establish a regulatory framework to underpin their growing use of crypto assets and clarify the treatment of new payment methods,” said Frydenberg.
Speaking of imposing regulations on the local trading venues, the politician opined that this step would strengthen Australia’s financial system and improve customer protection. Specifically, Frydenberg opined that crypto exchanges should have the same regulations as banks since they hold “significant sums of peoples’ money and investments, and there needs to be accountability.”
The Federal Treasurer concluded that completing the reforms would turn Australia into a cryptocurrency hub, joining the likes of his colleague Jane Hume, who recently said crypto is “not a fad:”
“Australia has an opportunity to be among the leading countries in the world in leveraging this new technology.”
CBDC Is Also on the Horizon
Frydenberg revealed that the Australian government will launch the pilot for its central bank digital currency before the end of 2022. Not long ago, The Reserve Bank of Australia partnered with Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank, the financial services company Perpetual, and ConsenSys to explore the potential use of Ethereum-based wholesale CBDC.
The collaboration vowed to develop a “proof-of-concept (POC) for the issuance of a tokenized form of CBDC that can be used by wholesale market participants for the funding, settlement, and repayment of a tokenized syndicated loan on an Ethereum-based DLT platform.”
However, supporters of the cash industry said an Australian central bank digital currency should not replace physical banknotes and coins. Jason Bryce – a spokesman for CashWelcome – said:
“Some Australians will never be able to use and access digital dollars, and they will be largely excluded.”