Australian Opposition Party Called Out for Lack of Clear Crypto Policy

With the starter’s gun for the 2022 Australian federal election having been fired on the weekend, the Labor Opposition party is already dodging bullets about lacking a crypto policy.

Stephen Jones, Labor’s shadow minister for financial services, quickly returned fire by declaring that the Opposition wants stronger consumer protections and regulation of exchanges.

“The broad principles we would take to crypto regulation are safety and transparency,” Jones said. “That inevitably leads to greater regulation of exchanges.”

Jones added that if Labor were to win power from the ruling Liberal-Nationals Coalition, crypto would be considered as part of a broader overhaul of the payments system.


Crypto Should Be at the ‘Centre of the Election’

Last week, expatriate crypto investor Mark Carnegie said that crypto “should be at the centre of the election” because digital currency and blockchain infrastructure were shaping to be an US$8 trillion (A$10.6 trillion) to US$13 trillion industry by 2030.

Carnegie, a venture capitalist currently based in Singapore, told the Australian Financial Review Cryptocurrency Summit that Labor lacked a policy on crypto and “it just shows you the lack of leadership” on the issue.

At the summit, he and former Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) chairman Greg Medcraft urged Australian regulators to develop a plan that encouraged digital asset technology and investment.

Carnegie accused the government and regulators of moving too slowly on the issue. Jones has since responded by saying that putting crypto under financial services regulation “made sense”, and that he would consult on the precise details if Labor won government.

‘Seven Words is Not a Crypto Policy,’ says Liberal Senator

Pro-crypto Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg (NSW) echoed Carnegie in claiming Labor has “no real policy” in place. “My sense is they’re running a small-target strategy,” Bragg said. “They’re not saying much and my sense is this agenda is at risk and that is very concerning.”

In a return salvo, Jones pointed out that the Coalition had been in government for almost nine years and that it was hypocritical for it to blame Labor for a lack of crypto policy.

The fact that 43 percent of Australians polled in a 2021 Gemini survey said they had invested in crypto says this is an election issue that cannot be ignored.

However, another recent survey revealed that nine in 10 Australian financial advisers had been asked by clients about investing in cryptocurrencies but only a third were willing to allow them to do so.

With the election due on May 21, it’s time for both sides of Australian politics to clearly declare their hands on crypto.

Phil Stafford

Phil Stafford

Phil is a long-standing Australian journalist with specialised experience in business, finance, travel and popular culture.

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