Australia Mandates Licensing for Crypto Exchanges for Security

Australia tightens its grip on the crypto realm, introducing mandatory licensing for exchanges to bolster security and protect consumers.

Crypto regulations in Australia

In a bid to navigate the fast-paced world of cryptocurrency and blockchain, Australia is taking decisive steps. The nation's federal government is proactively laying down regulatory groundwork, zeroing in on cryptocurrency exchanges.

The Australian Treasury has put forth a proposal aiming to bolster the existing laws surrounding digital assets. The heart of this proposal is to bring digital-asset platforms under closer scrutiny. Platforms that either have a total value surpassing A$5 million or hold assets for individuals exceeding A$1,500 in total value will now need to seek approval from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

This move isn't just about regulation; it's about protection. The government's primary goal is to shield consumers from potential fraud and the catastrophic fallout of cryptocurrency exchange collapses. At the Australian Financial Reviews Crypto Summit on October 16, Assistant Treasury Stephen Jones highlighted that the new regulations aim to boost industry growth, offer clarity to crypto businesses, and safeguard consumers and their assets.

However, the journey of digital assets hasn't been smooth. Last year witnessed a staggering $1.5 trillion dip in the value of digital assets. This downturn spotlighted some unsafe practices and even led to the downfall of major trading platforms. A case in point is the FTX exchange debacle, where its leader, Sam Bankman-Fried, is now entangled in legal battles in the US over alleged fraudulent activities involving billions.

Interestingly, major Australian cryptocurrency exchanges like BTC Markets and Independent Reserve are on board with these regulatory measures. The government plans to hold consultations until December 1 regarding its strategies. Following this, a draft of the proposed legislation will be unveiled next year. Exchanges will then have a year to align with these new regulations.