Is Australia heading for the adoption highway? More and more signals indicate that things will soon be making good headway down under when it comes to crypto and blockchain.
Australia’s financial world has recently signaled considerable interest in crypto. While the first bank with trading services for Bitcoin and Co. is in the starting blocks, a senator attested her trust in the DeFi space. Even on the regulatory side, a course is in the making that puts acceptance and innovation promotion in the foreground. The bullish news from Australia at a glance.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia has FOMO
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is one of the largest financial institutions in the country. Crypto fans from Australia therefore took notice when the bank announced at the beginning of November that it would be offering trading in the ten largest crypto currencies via its own banking app. Bloomberg TV took this decision – still rare worldwide – as an opportunity to ask CBA CEO Matt Comyn on November 19 about his view of crypto space. Comyn exuded a good portion of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out):
We see risks in the participation, however we see greater risks in not participating. It’s important to say that we don’t have an opinion on the price of the assets themselves as we see them as very volatile and speculative, but we also don’t think the sector and technology will go away anytime soon.
In the course of the conversation, Comyn also leaked that his bank was also working on further crypto engagements. The focus is in particular on expanding one’s own blockchain skills.
Senator Jane Hume: DeFi stays
The CBA’s crypto push didn’t bypass Australian Senator Jane Hume either. The member of the Liberal Party used the planned trading service on November 22nd in a speech to representatives of the Australian financial industry as proof that Bitcoin and Co. are not a temporary fad. At the annual Super & Wealth Summit the business newspaper Australian Financial Review she continued to describe cryptocurrencies as “an asset class that has won hearts and minds.” She recalled that 17 percent of the Australian population is involved in crypto investments.
Hume’s speech must be understood primarily as an appeal. Australia’s financial elites and political decision-makers should therefore not let the opportunity slip by that would be opened up by blockchain technology. Turning to DeFi services, she said:
Decentralized financial services powered by blockchain technology offer incredible opportunities – Australia cannot be left behind for fear of the unknown.
Australia: What Does Crypto Regulation Say?
With so much euphoria, of course, the question arises as to what the regulatory view of cryptocurrencies is like in Australia. The short answer: Hodlers from Down Under have every reason to be optimistic.
Joe Longo, head of the Australian Securities and Exchange Commission, ASIC, for example, gave in the wake of the Super & Wealth Summit to understand that the cryptocurrency debate has arrived in the middle of the Australian financial world. Longo, who was personally fascinated by DAOs, nevertheless urged investors to be cautious in accordance with his office. The regulatory situation is still very unclear, as many crypto assets are not to be regarded as financial products under Australian law.
Longo also cited with optimism the work of Senator Andrew Bragg’s committee responsible for drafting guidelines for the crypto space. The committee had already presented a catalog with regulatory proposals at the end of October, which also met with praise and approval from representatives of the crypto industry.
For example, the Senators propose a new licensing procedure for Bitcoin exchanges and clear income tax regulations for DeFi transactions. Tax incentives are to be created even for crypto mining with renewable energies. The committee is committed to the principle of not getting in the way of innovations. According to the speech of the stock exchange supervisor Longo, however, the decision on the regulatory package will be a long time coming. Because beforehand a number of questions would have to be discussed in Parliament.