- Coinbase’s Chief Policy Officer, Faryar Shirzad, highlights the urgent need for Australia to establish clear cryptocurrency regulations to remain globally relevant.
- Other major markets such as the EU and the UK are rapidly organizing around clear regulatory timeframes, putting the spotlight on Australia’s slower pace.
Cryptocurrency exchange heavyweight, Coinbase, has issued a call to action for Australia during a Senate hearing. Faryar Shirzad, Chief Policy Officer of Coinbase, stressed the urgency for the country to fast-track its legislation efforts concerning cryptocurrency. He emphasized that a clear regulatory framework is crucial for Australia to maintain its footing in the rapidly evolving global crypto arena.
A Global Race for Regulatory Clarity
Shirzad expressed concerns over Australia’s tardy pace in a time-sensitive global race where other jurisdictions have set definitive timelines for regulation. He cited the Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA) initiative in the European Union, which is set to be live no later than early 2025, and the accelerated consultations in the UK as prime examples.
The Australian Senate Economics Legislation Committee hearing took place amid the progression of the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023. Senator Andrew Bragg, who introduced the bill in March, views it as a gateway for Australia to reenter the global race and establish itself as a digital asset hub while ensuring consumer protection.
The Digital Assets Bill: A Step Towards Progress?
Bragg’s proposed bill focuses on introducing licensing for crypto exchanges and delineating clear custody requirements. This coincides with the Treasury of Australia’s consultation paper published in February, proposing the application of existing financial frameworks to regulate the country’s burgeoning crypto sector.
Shirzad lauded the efforts to bring regulatory clarity, mentioning the potential for global firms to better serve local markets with a clear framework. He cited the quick turnaround in Hong Kong’s crypto regulation as a model example of the speed needed to stay competitive.
Alongside Coinbase, Jonathon Miller, Managing Director of Australia for Kraken, also testified at the hearing. He echoed the sentiments of regulatory uncertainty and the challenges it presents to businesses and their banking relationships.
While the commitment to the Australian market remains strong, the call to action is clear: regulatory clarity must be fast-tracked to ensure Australia’s relevance in the global crypto sphere. This decisive move would enable these companies to build and invest in a stable, resilient framework for growth.