Australia is losing the race to regulate digital assets. That is why I have introduced a Private Senator’s Bill, the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023.
When Labor came to power, they had the opportunity to complete the world-leading regulatory process initiated by the former Liberal Government.
In October 2021, the Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre made 12 recommendations relating to digital asset regulation.
Of these recommendations, 11 were adopted by the former government, and on 21 March 2022, Treasury began public consultations on custody and licensing requirements.
These measures provided a basis for Labor to complete these regulatory reforms.
Instead, Labor and Financial Services Minister, Stephen Jones, have been uninterested in regulating digital assets.
Instead of using the consultations already undertaken, Labor and Mr Jones decided to restart the process in May 2022.
Mr Jones has hurt consumers. Labor has exposed Australians to the crash of FTX last November. There will be more collapses in this unregulated marketplace.
Since November, all we have received from Mr Jones is a skinny pamphlet on token mapping.
Labor should have introduced a Draft Bill, not commission more duplicative reviews.
Labor has abandoned the Liberal roadmap for digital asset regulation.
If the government does not want to act, the Parliament must.
The Digital Assets Bill will put Australia back into the race to regulate. This will protect consumers and promote investment.
Licensing for exchanges, custody requirements and stablecoins are included in the Bill. Australia can be a digital asset hub whilst protecting digital asset consumers. But we must act now.
A copy of the Bill can be found here.
I look forward to discussing this Bill with my Senate colleagues.