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Here’s How Australia Plans to Protect Crypto Investors From Market Risk

Australia, in a bid to protect its crypto investors from financial risks, has devised a three-stage plan. Australian government’s new plan aims to bring laws to govern crypto token mapping, strengthen legal oversight on crypto transactions, and ensure crypto user protection. The three-point plan seeks to further regulate the cryptocurrency sector in the country. The development comes in the backdrop of Australia witnessing a growth in its crypto culture. As per research firm Cointree, Australia is estimated to house 4.6 million crypto holders.

Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones issued a joint statement on Friday, February 3, explaining the objective of this plan. “Unsustainable business models used by some companies dealing in crypto assets have left consumers exposed. Australia’s regulators are strengthening their focus on crypto asset providers to make sure they meet their obligations to Australian consumers,” the issued statement said.

Australians lost over $81.5 million (roughly Rs. 650 crore) to crypto scams between the months of January and May last year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had revealed in an alarming report.

In September last year, the federal police of Australia put in place a new unit tasked with a one-track job to identify and tackle illicit money transfers being facilitated through crypto assets.

The ACCC is also working to enable auto identification and takedown of questionable and suspicious crypto websites to safeguard its crypto community against financial risks.

“The government will reform the licensing and custody of crypto assets, particularly for the subset of crypto assets that currently fall outside the financial services regulatory framework. We will establish a set of obligations and operational standards for crypto asset service providers to ensure they adequately safe‑keep assets for customers,” the statement from the Australian treasurer further added.

The country has released a consultation paper to detail elements of the crypto sector that are already regulated, and the ones that need more immediate attention.

“Token mapping seeks to build a shared understanding of crypto assets in the Australian financial services regulatory context. This will explore how existing regulation applies to the crypto sector and inform future policy choices,” the consultation paper reads.

The government there has asked stakeholders to submit their feedback, which would be taken into consideration by regulators working on drafting a rulebook to preside over cryptocurrencies.

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