Australian senator Andrew Bragg has drafted a bill aimed at better regulation of cryptocurrency and other virtual assets in the country.
Titled the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022, the bill provides for a licensing system for digital asset exchanges, and stablecoin issuers.
Bragg said that Australia must keep pace with the global race for regulation of digital assets. He has released a draft bill that is open for consultation until 31 October 2022.
Andrew Bragg is a Senator for New South Wales from the Liberal Party of Australia who has often spoken in favor of cryptocurrency and called for a clear regulatory framework.
Licenses for Digital Asset Exchanges
The Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022 proposes introducing licenses for digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody services, and stablecoin issuers. In addition, the bill calls for information reporting by banks in case they are facilitating e-Yuan in the country.
A digital asset exchange or a digital asset custody service must hold a license issued by the Minister or a recognized foreign exchange license to operate in Australia.
In regard to stablecoins, the bill asks Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) issuers to similarly get the required license issued in order to operate in the country. Called the Stablecoin Issue Requirements, the list of regulations would be mandatory for CBDC issuers to comply with.
The bill also asks certain designated banks to report information to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Reserve Bank of Australia in case they have facilitated the use or availability of e-Yuan in Australia within the last year.
It must be noted here that e-Yuan is the first CBDC issued by a major national economy. E-Yuan was introduced by the People’s Bank of China, the central bank of China, in 2021. Only a few countries such as China, Bahamas, and Nigeria have issued their CBDCs so far.
The bill calls for active regulation of all the activities related to e-Yuan.
Push for emission-friendly crypto hub
Bragg is seen as a major pro-cryptocurrency voice in the Australian political space. In September last year, he said that Australia should strive to become a cryptocurrency hub but in an emission-friendly manner.
He has repeatedly called for strong regulation in the crypto industry. In June 2022, he wrote an opinion that Australia must regulate crypto or else it will lose the race for capital, people, and consumer protection. He has also cautioned that Australian consumers remain exposed until crypto exchanges are regulated.
Crypto regulations a priority
Currently, the Labour Party is the ruling party in Australia that won the elections in March of this year. As per a Bloomberg report, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that applying comprehensive rules to the domestic cryptocurrency sector would be among the three issues for his cabinet.
The Australian government announced in August that it is beginning a review of cryptocurrency assets in the country to regulate the industry better. Token mapping would be a priority of PM Anthony Albanese’s government.
The Australian Taxation Office estimates that more than one million taxpayers have interacted with the crypto asset ecosystem since 2018.