Finance

Aussie corporate regulator to build ‘outcome-based’ crypto policies

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will focus on desired regulatory outcomes as it closes in on building and releasing a range of regulatory reforms for the crypto sector.

ASIC Commissioner Alan Kirkland shared the body’s game plan to promote the growth of responsible financial innovation at “The Brief – Open Forum” as part of Blockchain APAC’s Policy Week on March 20.

Source: ASIC Media 

Kirkland pointed out the need to solve the “regulatory trilemma” when it comes to financial innovations — consumer protection, market integrity, and encouraging financial innovation.

The ASIC aims to foster trust for crypto and decentralized financial systems by improving oversight and balancing the trilemma factors. According to the commissioner, the ASIC has provided informal regulatory assistance to over 900 entities since 2016.

Speaking about the upcoming reforms, Kirkland said:

“In short, our desired outcome is a clear set of rules that maintain market integrity and mitigate the risks to consumers and investors – backed by mechanisms that promote compliance with these rules and enable us to enforce them effectively.”

The ASIC also received numerous proposals for tokenizing financial products and other “real world” assets. “Some types of tokenization will be regulated through the current regulatory regime, while others will be regulated through the Government’s digital asset platform proposal,” Kirkland added.

Kirkland believes that ASIC’s approach to innovation and effective regulation can reduce the associated risks and help promote digital assets to the masses.

Related: Australian crypto firm Finder’s Earn product was compliant, court finds

In October 2023, the Australian Treasury released a consultation paper that proposed mandating crypto exchanges to apply for a financial services license from the local financial regulator.

Regulating digital asset platforms proposal. Source: The Australian Government Treasury

The proposed new rules will require any crypto exchange holding more than $3.2 million (AU$5 million), or more than $946 (AU$1,500) per individual, to obtain a license from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

While the proposal saw a mixed reaction from crypto exchanges operating in Australia, the Treasury outlined that the entire point of the consultation paper is to “seek feedback” on the many questions and regulations proposed within it.

Magazine: Bitcoin ETFs make Coinbase a ‘honeypot’ for hackers and governments: Trezor CEO