Australian Finance Minister says crypto could be regulated as financial product
Crypto lobby groups in the country have argued against the broad classification of all crypto assets as financial products.
Australian Financial Minister Stephen Jones said there was a “good argument” to regulate crypto assets as financial products, The Sydney Morning Heral reported on Jan. 23.
Except for Bitcoin (BTC), other crypto assets are mainly used as a store of value for investment or speculation, according to Jones. He said:
“[There is a] good argument that they[other crypto assets] should be treated like a financial product.”
The minister noted that the FTX collapse showed the need for crypto regulation. He continued that the Australian government is focused on regulating crypto assets that act like financial products.
Jones added that there was no need to set up a “completely separate regulatory regime for something that is, for all intents and purposes, a financial product.”
The Australian minister said that the government would soon reveal crypto assets it plans to regulate through its “token mapping” exercise.
Lobby groups disagree with broad classification
Meanwhile, Australia’s crypto group Blockchain Australia is at loggerheads with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Commonwealth Bank over broadly classifying all crypto assets as financial products.
The lobby group reportedly said a broad classification of all crypto assets as financial products would harm the investment and growth of the sector. The group also warned that this could lead to the loss of jobs in the industry.
Another lobby group, the Australian Bitcoin Industry Body (ABIB), argued that lumping all businesses interacting with crypto into only one category will make regulatory efforts for the industry’s sub-sectors challenging.
The Australian government has recently stepped up efforts to regulate the crypto industry following FTX’s collapse. The government promised to establish a framework to guide the licensing and regulation of crypto service providers.