Australia: the Treasury introduces rules on stablecoin in the new crypto bill

The regulatory authorities of Australia are working to integrate the norms on stablecoin into their draft law concerning the crypto sector.

A representative of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission stated that they had meetings with regulatory bodies, such as the SEC, to discuss their legal positions on cryptocurrencies.

Let’s see all the details below. 

New regulations coming to Australia: the cryptocurrency bill includes provisions on stablecoins

As anticipated, the Australian regulatory authorities have recently provided updates on their plans for the digital asset sector. 

Including the introduction of a draft regulation for stablecoins, and they suggested an increase in actions against unauthorized entities during an event in Sydney, held on Wednesday.

The event, titled “Digital Assets: Anchoring the Digital Economy”, was organized by Blockchain Australia, the national reference body for the sector.

The Australian Treasury had previously announced the intention to publish a draft law to establish licensing and custody rules for criptovalute providers by the end of 2024.

Now, that draft could also include a regulatory framework for stablecoins. Chris Adamek, director of the digital assets policy unit at the Australian Treasury, stated: 

“The reforms of the digital asset platform are being drafted at the Office of Parliamentary Counsel (responsible for drafting and publishing Australian laws) and the draft is expected to be released by the end of the year. In the drafting process, there are various reforms with different priorities, including those on payments that encompass the proposed framework for regulating stablecoins. These reforms could be released simultaneously due to their interconnection.”

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has stated that it is working with the government to provide advice to colleagues at the Treasury. 

Furthermore, it holds regular meetings with global counterparts, including the EU, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and North America, to better understand the cases brought against digital asset companies.

ASIC warns: crypto entities must align with existing regulations

Dr. Rhys Bollen, senior executive leader of digital assets at ASIC, commented as follows: 

We are actively monitoring international cases and regularly collaborating with our colleagues abroad. This morning we had a one-hour call with the SEC to discuss their work and what we can learn from it. We have already handled half a dozen cases regarding digital assets and have more in progress.”

The representative of the ASIC indicated that they will continue to provide guidance, but emphasizes the importance of legal compliance, during a meeting with industry operators: 

“When was the last time you examined the tokens listed on your platform? And the products and services you offer? If you haven’t reviewed your legal practices in the last four months, it is essential to do so now.”

Bollen also announced that the ASIC is preparing appeals against recent judicial decisions that have favored crypto entities such as Block Earner and BPS Financial Pty Ltd (BPS). 

Recently, the ASIC took Binance Australia and the social investing platform eToro to court, while the country’s major banks introduced limitations on cryptocurrencies to protect investors from fraud.

Blockchain Australia has changed its name to Digital Economy Council of Australia (DECA) and is including a category dedicated to banks.