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Australian Crypto CEOs Disagree with Govt on Digital Assets Regulation

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• Australian crypto CEOs have cautioned against defining all digital assets as financial commodities after the assistant treasurer’s recent comments.
• National Australia Bank (NAB) will create a stablecoin, according to information recently provided to the Australian Financial Review by a senior official.
• Stephen Jones, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services discussed the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on 22 January.

The Australian crypto industry has recently been in the spotlight following comments made by the country’s assistant treasurer and minister for financial services, Stephen Jones. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on the 22nd of January, Jones discussed the country’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and expressed his opinion that all digital assets should be treated as financial commodities.

This statement has been met with some resistance from CEOs within the Australian crypto sector, who have cautioned against such a definition, claiming that not all digital assets should be classified as financial goods. This disagreement has been further compounded by the news that the National Australia Bank (NAB) will be launching its own stablecoin. This information was recently provided to the Australian Financial Review (AFR) by a senior official.

The government is currently undertaking a “token mapping” initiative to determine which crypto assets should be regulated and is set to begin a consultation process with the industry shortly. Jones has said that he believes that if something looks, acts, and sounds like a duck, then it should be treated as one. This statement has been interpreted by many as a sign that the government is leaning towards regulating all digital assets as financial products.

Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Commonwealth Bank, one of Australia’s “Big 4” banks, are reportedly in favor of regulating cryptocurrencies as financial goods.

The crypto industry in Australia is an evolving one and the government’s decision on how to regulate digital assets will have a major impact on the sector. It will be interesting to see how the consultation process plays out and how the government’s stance on digital assets develops over the coming months.