On March 29th, Senator Andrew Bragg introduced the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 in the Australian Senate, with the aim of regulating the country’s crypto market. The proposed legislation will enable crypto asset exchanges to apply for licenses and increase crypto adoption in Australia. This move comes at a time when crypto exchanges such as Coinbase and Binance are facing regulatory crackdowns in the US, leading some to consider moving offshore.
Senator Bragg tweeted that the current government has failed to regulate digital assets in Australia, and therefore, the Parliament has stepped in to protect Australians and promote investment in the growing digital asset market. The proposed bill asserts that an unregulated crypto market poses risks to investors, as seen during the FTX collapse. Therefore, the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 aims to “put Australia back into the regulation race, protect consumers, and promote investment”.
The proposed crypto regulation bill includes licensing requirements for crypto exchanges, custody requirements, and stablecoins. If passed, Andrew Bragg believes that the bill will enable Australia to become a crypto hub. He criticized the regulation by enforcement approach taken by US regulators, stating that “rather than regulate through stealth, which is what seems like the US is doing, we want to do it properly through the parliament.” The bill also includes provisions for minimum capital requirements, appropriate governance procedures, segregation of customers funds, and security requirements.
Crypto associations, including Blockchain Australia, have supported the proposed legislation, following a draft bill proposed by Senator Bragg last year amidst the rising crypto adoption in Australia. The announcement of the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 has been met with positive sentiment in the crypto market, with Bitcoin price soaring over 6% to over $28,500. Other cryptocurrencies also experienced a jump in price due to macro events and uncertainties in the market