Australia’s Government is Bolstering Its Market Regulator’s Digital Asset

As part of its “multi-stage strategy” to cracking down on cryptocurrencies and ensuring that crypto companies provide accurate risk disclosures, the Australian government is increasing the size of the digital asset team that works under its market regulator.

The new restrictions are intended to safeguard consumers who are dealing with bitcoin, as described in a joint statement released on February 2 by the Assistant Treasurer of Australia, Stephen Jones, and the Australian Treasurer, Jim Chalmers.

The treasurers said that the multi-stage strategy would entail three components, these components being the strengthening of enforcement, the strengthening of consumer protection, and the establishment of a framework for its token mapping reform.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that they would be “upping enforcement efforts” as well as increasing the number of their digital assets division. This is one of the most significant adjustments.

According to Chalmers and Jones, the ASIC would have a primary emphasis on ensuring that customers are adequately informed of the potential hazards posed to them by crypto product and service providers.

In the meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s competition watchdog, will soon be receiving new tools from the government to assist it in protecting consumers against frauds using cryptocurrencies. The total amount of money lost to scams using cryptocurrency payments was recorded to be $221 million in 2022.

The ACCC will use the new technology, which will be in the form of a real-time data-sharing platform, to detect and prevent frauds using cryptocurrencies.

When a framework is finalised to regulate the licencing and custody of digital assets, consumer protection will also be strengthened. This will “ensure consumers are protected from avoidable business failures or from the misuse of their assets by service providers,” according to the official description of the goal of the framework.

However, the implementation of this framework won’t begin until the middle of 2023, and it’s likely going to take a significant amount of time until it’s codified into law.

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