Australian crypto executives have urged caution over lumping all digital assets in the same boat as financial products, after recent comments from Australia’s assistant treasurer on the ma
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald on Jan. 22, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones was commenting on the state of crypto regulation in the country.
He confirmed that the government was on track with its “token mapping” exercise this year to determine which crypto assets to regulate, with a consultation process “to start soon” with the industry, according to a crypto exchange executive.
However, Jones said he was “not that attracted” to setting up a completely new set of regulations for something that he believes in essence, is a financial product.
“I don’t want to pre-judge the outcomes of the consultation process we are about to embark on. But I start from the position that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and sounds like a duck then it should be treated like one,” said Jones.
“Other coins or other tokens are being essentially used as a store of value for investment and speculation. [There is a] good argument that they should be treated like a financial product.”
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and one of Australia’s “Big 4” banks, Commonwealth Bank are reportedly also in support of regulating crypto as financial products, according to SMH.
Crypto execs warn of ‘broad’ approach
However, crypto market participants have urged caution over a broad-stroke approach towards crypto assets.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, blockchain and digital asset lawyer and Partner at Piper Alderman, Michael Bacina, cautioned that “a broad approach of classifying a technology as a financial product without a clear and usable pathway to licensing and compliance will likely send even more crypto businesses offshore and create more risk.”
Adam Percy, Swyftx General Counsel, echoed the sentiment in statements to Cointelegraph, stating:
“The trick is to protect consumers without regulating away well-run domestic digital asset businesses and forcing people to use off-shore exchanges subject to less rigorous checks and balances.”
Meanwhile, Holger Arians, CEO of crypto on-ramp provider Banxa shared concerns that over-regulation could “seriously impact” the pioneering role that…