Aussie Senator Says Crypto Regulation Could Attract “New Investment and Jobs”

August 24, 2021, 2:30 PM AEST (updated September 23, 2021)

Crypto is undoubtedly the most innovative and fastest-growing industry of our time and NSW Senator Andrew Bragg sees huge opportunities for Australia.

Bragg is advocating for a crypto-friendly country by implementing better regulation in order to provide incentives for new investors and create more job opportunities for Australians.

It might surprise you that the loudest voices calling for appropriate regulation are market participants. I have never heard so many people cry out for regulation.

Andrew Bragg, NSW Senator

Bragg is chair of the Senate committee on Australia as a technology and finance centre. “The Senate is developing policy options as we speak,” he says. “I cannot pre-empt what an appropriate framework will look like – that will be outlined in our final report, due to be released in October.”

The report will address important topics on Blockchain and how cryptocurrencies can promote investment in Australia and improve economic growth.

Crypto is Here to Stay and Needs Custom Regulation

There is more money in crypto than ever before as it reaches over US$2 trillion in marketcap. This sum contains both retail and institutional investors and a recent survey shows 43.7 percent of ETH is held by whales.

ASIC regulates digital assets to the extent that they are financial products which by definition causes confusion among investors. The ATO is attempting to apply existing tax standards to crypto­currency, which simply don’t fit. According to Senator Bragg, “All dimensions of this system have to be worked out: market arrangements, custodial rules, anti-money laundering laws, tax settings, and what to do with tokens, if anything.”

A major concern for the local community is the lack of a regulatory body, which many local crypto-company CEOs have already said is hurting the industry and has driven away potential offshore investors.

The problem is this: we cannot have an unregulated financial sector competing with a regulated one. Consumers are exposed to scams and fraud. Market participants run their operations flying blind. Australia misses out on investment due to the uncertainty. Unnecessary risk threatens the stability of the financial system.

Andrew Bragg, NSW Senator

Australia is Falling Behind Compared to Other Countries

The Australian government says it wants to establish Australia as a crypto-friendly economy, though compared to other countries it is fast falling behind and missing out on golden opportunities. Australia is simply not acting quickly enough to keep up the pace. If the country doesn’t get regulation right, it will be at a big disadvantage compared to the rest of the world and will miss out on a piece of the pie.

Other countries have adopted blockchain and established crypto regulations which have boosted their economies. The US, EU, Canada, the UK and Singapore are all in the process of implementing a comprehensive framework for regulation of digital assets and the crypto market.

Cryptocurrency is a Technology Revolution

Cryptocurrency adoption is still just getting started but it is growing faster than the revolution that was the internet. Prior to crypto, it was the fastest adoption of network technology in human history. Crypto has the same number of users as the internet had in 1997, and is growing at a rate of 113 percent each year. Crypto has around 140 million users, double the fastest adoption of any technology in history. Even if you lower an estimated rate of growth to around 80 percent, crypto will reach around 1 billion people by 2024.

According to Metcalf’s Law, the value of a network is proportional to the square of the number of its users. At this rate, crypto is the biggest thing we have ever seen. It is changing the world as we know it.

Bragg says “crypto-assets have been allowed to flourish in an unregulated market. Now they are an indelible element of the financial system.” He adds that “by circumventing the gatekeepers of modern finance, cryptocurrency became a brand-new system and asset. Its development has given rise to more consumer choice and new jobs.”

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