Townsville Bulletin

Australia could become crypto hub


AUSTRALIA has the potential to become a global cryptocurr­ency powerhouse that would see billions of dollars passing through our shores, according to parliament’s first investigat­ion into the new payment technology.

Having taken what committee chair Andrew Bragg called a “six-month deep dive” into cryptocurr­ency, the Senate’s Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre handed down its report on Wednesday night

“We want people to have the ability to use cryptocurr­ency because it gives them more agency and more choice,” Senator Bragg said.

“It disrupts big players, and has been hugely successful in upending things like internatio­nal payments.

“If we follow the recommenda­tions of this report, we have the potential to be a crypto leader like Singapore and the UK.”

The report cited a number of cryptocurr­ency brokerages that found the reaction of banks was harming their ability to do business in Australia.

“The unwillingn­ess of traditiona­l banks to facilitate digital asset businesses by refusing to do business with them has introduced an unnecessar­y and significan­t risk to both the growth and innovation of the digital asset businesses and also to Australian consumers,” said Swyftx, a local crypto dealer, in a submission.

Among the recommenda­tions of the committee are that Australia establish bankingsty­le rules around capital adequacy and auditing, that antimoney laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulation­s be clarified to better account for crypto, and that better rights be given to those who have been “de-banked”, or seen their accounts closed because of crypto activity.

“We are calling for a new system of regulation and giving people the right of appeal through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority,” Senator Bragg said.

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