16 October 2023

Regulation of digital and crypto assets


Joint media release with
The Hon Jim Chalmers MP

The Albanese Government is outlining the next steps in its approach to regulating crypto and digital assets to protect consumers, support innovation and provide industry certainty.

We are releasing a proposal paper today that recommends making crypto exchanges and digital asset platforms subject to existing Australian financial services laws and requiring platform operators to obtain an Australian Financial Services Licence.

In addition, digital asset platforms will need to meet specific obligations that take into account the nature of the platforms. This will include minimum standards for holding tokens, standards for custody software, and standards when transacting in tokens.

The Albanese Government is acting methodically to ensure that consumers are adequately protected and innovation can flourish. Our proposals have been designed to ensure they are consistent with other jurisdictions, adopt existing financial service laws as appropriate and create new bespoke obligations in the areas of highest risk.

Despite nearly a decade in office, the previous government failed to provide the policy leadership to protect consumers and guide this new and emerging class of assets.

Collapses of crypto platforms, both locally and globally, have seen Australians lose their assets or be forced to wait their turn amongst long lines of creditors.

The proposed reforms seek to reduce the risk of these collapses happening by lifting the standard of the operation of platforms and increasing oversight.

Feedback on the proposal paper closes on 1 December, with further consultation next year on the draft legislation.