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Public Hearing on Cryptocurrency and Digital Assets

The Australian Senate is placing cryptocurrency under the microscope as it examines regulation for the growing Australian industry.

The Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre held its first public hearing on cryptocurrency today, chaired by Senator Andrew Bragg. The committee aims to align consumer protection and industry growth.

“While participants held different views on the best course of action, all are committed to developing a plan that builds Australian leadership, which was incredibly encouraging,” Committee Chair Senator Andrew Bragg said.

A diverse range of stakeholders provided evidence at the hearing including Blockchain Australia, Independent Reserve, Kraken, Swyftx and various asset managers.

While Australia is well placed to participate in the global development of digital assets, a team of legal experts highlighted current gaps in the framework that leaves consumers completely exposed.

Holley Nethercote Lawyers drew attention to the rise of ‘Finfluencers’ and questioned their motivations when posting crypto tips to their millions of followers.

“He’s got so many followers and he’s now recommending cryptos. Who knows if he was paid to recommend those coins? Who knows if he loaded a pile of his own coins before releasing his video, essentially insider trading the inevitable price rise generated by his post? Market conduct and general conduct we think should be regulated.”

One in five Australians now own cryptocurrency and it is imperative that regulation protects consumers, provides certainty and drives investment.

“Crypto isn’t going away and we are seeing more and more mum and dad investors wanting to get involved. As a legislator, I want to ensure they’re as informed and protected as they can be,” said Senator Bragg.

Media Contact
Charlotte Mortlock 0401 392 624

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