Australia to introduce ‘badge of approval’ for crypto exchanges

This means there will be no “what ifs” if investors wish to enter the crypto market

Bitcoin with Australian flag                                 
Bitcoin with Australian flag - Photo:Alamy
                                

Australia’s minister for the digital economy, Jane Hume has announced the country will set up a market licence – or a “badge of approval” – for crypto exchanges that allow safe and secure transactions.

Hume stated the rules will provide a government signal to Australian investors that they can trust the crypto exchange they use, reported  ZDNet. She also outlined that this means there will be no “what ifs” if investors wish to enter the Australian crypto market.

Hume made these comments at Australian Blockchain Week – which runs from today, 21 March 2022, until Friday 25 March 2022 – and said: “Crypto values will go up and down sure as eggs and the government will not be protecting consumers from market volatility – and nor should they. But Australian investors will be sure that if they use a licenced Australian exchange that they can trust that exchange will deliver on its commitments to customers and have appropriate protections.

“This will be a uniquely Australian stamp of quality – the healthy heart tick of approval for your crypto exchanges.”

Custody arrangements

As well as providing crypto exchanges with market licences, the Australian government is also planning to introduce a custody arrangement for crypto exchanges.  

“We have a plan to ensure that crypto investors who hold crypto on an exchange can always access their money by introducing custody requirements for crypto assets,” said Hume.

During her keynote address, Hume, who is also a senator for Victoria, said: “We want to encourage innovation in crypto assets, innovation creates jobs and growth. There are many innovative use cases for crypto assets, many of which are not far away from becoming mainstream. These include international payments, lending and borrowing, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and asset tokenisation.”

FTX sets up shop in Australia

Cryptocurrency derivatives exchange, FTX announced the day before Australian Blockchain Week began, that it would establish FTX Australia, which will offer the country “a comprehensive suite of exchange and over the counter (OTC) based products and services, as well as derivatives”.

Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO and founder of FTX, said: “We’re excited to bring FTX’s innovative products and services to the Australian marketplace. The establishment of FTX Australia should provide all our local clients with the confidence of trading on a registered and licensed platform.

“As in other jurisdictions within which we operate, significant resources have been allocated to proactively engage with local regulators. We look to be a participant in policy discussions globally and will seek to continue this same level engagement locally through FTX Australia, and we are encouraged by the important work being undertaken to establish a new digital asset licencing regime.”

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