In response to the growing concern about de-banking within the cryptocurrency sector, the Australian government has taken a definitive step forward. The Treasury has announced its commitment to address this issue and has expressed support for policy recommendations aimed at resolving it.
The Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) has been actively involved in addressing de-banking and has garnered significant attention for its efforts. This recent announcement not only acknowledges the importance of their work but also signifies a broader consensus within the government regarding the matter.
Australia's banking sector, including major institutions such as Commonwealth Bank (CBA), has recently faced challenges involving crypto entities. Additionally, Binance Australia had to suspend Australian dollar (AUD) services due to the withdrawal of support from a third-party provider.
To tackle these issues effectively, the government has endorsed the proposal that the nation's four largest banks align themselves with policies specifically designed to address de-banking. The four major banks in Australia, namely CBA, National Australia Bank, ANZ Bank, and Westpac, are expected to play a crucial role in implementing these measures.
This development underscores the increasing recognition of cryptocurrencies' significance within the financial ecosystem. It highlights the need for robust regulatory measures to ensure the seamless integration of cryptocurrencies while safeguarding the interests of individuals and businesses.
The government's decision to take a stand against de-banking comes in the wake of efforts by Blockchain Australia, the nation's industry body, to minimize the occurrence of scams within the crypto space. The industry body recently hosted a “Stopping Scams Roundtable” involving 28 representatives, along with participants from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Treasury.
According to a recent report by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), Australians lost nearly $150m to crypto investment scams in 2022, with a total of 3,910 reported incidents and an average loss of $37,900 per victim, representing a 162% increase from the previous year.
As the cryptocurrency market continues to evolve and gain mainstream acceptance, it is crucial for governments and regulatory bodies to establish clear guidelines and protocols. Australia's proactive stance in tackling de-banking reflects a broader trend of countries recognizing the need to adapt to the changing landscape of the financial industry. For example, both the EU and the UK are on their way to introduce cryptocurrency regulations.