The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has published a corporate plan that describes a vision for the country’s economic future as well as its intentions to regulate the cryptocurrency market.
Governing the Crypto Trading Market
The watchdog identified initial coin offerings (ICOs) as an increased risk to investors, among other upcoming financial products, but stated relevant rules and strict control mechanisms would be introduced to contain any inauspicious events.
In addition to introducing laws, the ASIC would treat the crypto trading market similar to a securities market and introduce a “regulated market infrastructure” applicable to crypto exchanges. The watchdog would also settle disputes between exchanges and investors during instances of “poor behavior and potential harm,” contrary to current market practices.
With regard to creating a securities-like market for digital assets, ASIC may introduce a listing body and a licensing scheme for cryptocurrency projects, which will supervise all market operators, settlement providers and derivative trading.
The document also mentioned that ASIC has been deploying its staff across various financial institutions to study their policies and approach toward emerging technologies like big data, blockchain, artificial intelligence and cryptocurrencies.
As it stands, Australian laws governing the local cryptocurrency sector instate a mandatory KYC and AML norms, followed by businesses, as set down by Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence authority.
Burgeoning Blockchain Sector
Additionally, the report acknowledged the growth of fintech and blockchain investments in the country.
The broader fintech market attracted over $675 million in 2018, with ASIC stating that blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) companies may push the investment figure, and the country’s economy, in a significant manner.
Apart from innovations in financial services, the blockchain sector appears primed to a change in data reconciliation, back-office functions and logistics.
Australia has seen an explosion in blockchain-based experiments recently. Last month, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia was picked by the World Bank to conduct bond transactions via a distributed ledger. The latter delivers over $60 billion per year in bonds to ensure sustainable development and is turning toward blockchain technology to protect its funds from corrupt intermediaries.
Away from financial services, Australia utilized the Ethereum network in July to successfully complete a cross-border shipment of almonds. All parties were connected by IoT sensors and blockchain to verify the authenticity of goods during delivery and tracking containment conditions during shipping.
Cover Photo by Liam Pozz on Unsplash