Documents examined by the Australian Financial Review (AFR) appear to show that the Australian government are preparing to regulate crypto no earlier than the end of 2024, having initially set a deadline for this year.
A consultation is expected to get underway in 2023 and stakeholders will be able to weigh in on how crypto licensing and custody should work in the third quarter.
This comes on top of a consultation dedicated to token mapping launched by the Australian Treasury at the beginning of February, which closed on Friday, March 3.
However, submissions to the government have been slow, the AFR cautioned, which his why a more tangible draft of crypto regulation may arrive well beyond 2024, although this has not been confirmed.
The government is also preparing for stakeholders to object to some of the regulatory rules that officials want to introduce to the country.
In a brief seen by the AFR, Australian treasurer Jim Chalmers reportedly wrote that some stakeholders would be disappointed by the delay in implementing a licensing regime.
“For example, consumer groups seeking immediate protections and businesses seeking regulatory legitimacy”, the brief reportedly states.
The Treasury also notes that demand for cryptocurrencies has diminished since the reverberating collapse of FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange that misused an estimated $8bn of consumer funds.
However, the Treasury believes this to be a good thing, as the reduced interest in crypto means that there aren’t as many consumers to be impacted by the delay of a regulatory framework.
Chalmers urged in the brief for all responsible parties to work hard to complete the token mapping exercise and create a clear-cut licensing framework with practical implications.
Meanwhile, Australia continues to embrace certain parts of the cryptocurrency industry better than international counterparts, with the country among those hosting the highest numbers of Bitcoin ATMs.
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