‘The clock is ticking’ for Australia in global crypto regulations race: BTC Markets CEO Caroline Bowler
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If you get super excited about crypto regulations, there’s been a bit to keep you frothing at the mouth just lately, what with the EU’s MiCA law proposals and now the G20’s Financial Stability Board (FSB) weighing in.
Also, if that’s you, we bet you’re a right laugh down the pub. That said, global crypto regulation standards are the most critical thing the industry needs and craves right now. (Pours beer, reads about the FSB preparing to propose international regulations for crypto in October.)
Towards the end of June, the European Commission – the executive body for the European Union 27-member-state bloc – reached agreement on two landmark crypto laws.
The fancy title for those is: the Markets in Crypto Assets (MiCA) regulation, and it’s the first attempt at creating a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets in Europe.
“Today, we put order in the Wild West of crypto assets and set clear rules for a harmonised market that will provide legal certainty for crypto asset issuers, guarantee equal rights for service providers and ensure high standards for consumers and investors,” said Stefan Berger late last month. Berger is the EU lawmaker who led the MiCA negotiations.
— Bitcoin Archive 🗄🚀🌔 (@BTC_Archive) July 12, 2022
According to reports, MiCA is designed to make life tougher for exchanges, stablecoin issuers and numerous other entities in the industry.
Bitcoin, though, which has no token issuer, is one asset that escapes the scrutiny to a large degree. Also, it seems the EU doesn’t quite know how to treat non-fungible tokens (NFTs) yet, as these have been excluded from the framework at this stage.
Tougher laws (actual laws, even) will no doubt rattle a few crypto cages here and there, but given the state of the market in the wake of the Terra LUNA implosion and subsequent crypto contagion, it’s pretty hard to argue that comprehensive oversight isn’t needed in the space.
Not only for consumer protection, but also for the sake of clarity and hopefully forging an innovation-friendly path ahead.
We'll be seeing this way more in the next months.
MiCa coming in (regulation in Europe) in 2024, which means that more and more institutions can open the gates for #crypto.
Regulations aren't bearish, they are bullish.
The time to build your portfolio is NOW. https://t.co/Chu7xMAclb
— Michaël van de Poppe (@CryptoMichNL) July 11, 2022
The rules are expected to come into play in 2024, which would put the Euro bloc ahead of the US and the UK in the crypto regs race… and potentially Australia, too, unless it gets its act together soon.
Commenting on the MiCA development, this week CEO of BTC Markets Caroline Bowler labelled the EU agreement as a significant milestone globally.
BTC Markets is one of Australia’s oldest and most popular crypto exchanges and has more than 325,000 Aussie clients. In comments shared with Stockhead, its CEO noted that the EU’s regulation agreement has been driven by consumer protection but is open to innovation and recognises that “crypto is in its infancy and isn’t going anywhere”.
“I expect that the UK will follow suit quickly, as will the US,” said Bowler, adding:
“Australia must look at what’s emerged in Europe, what follows from other key markets and draw on these examples.
“A lot of work has already been done here, but it’s important that Australia doesn’t fall behind or create a regulatory environment that cripples our future economy.
“If we put too many barriers in place for people to use crypto, we will lose any competitive advantage to the European models.”
Referencing the regulatory proposals for the Australian crypto industry drafted last year by a bipartisan Senate committee and currently sitting in the new Federal government’s in-tray, Bowler encouraged Australia’s lawmakers to build on them and make them a priority.
“We have two years before the Europeans pull away,” she noted. “I appreciate that Australia faces ongoing challenges such as COVID and inflationary pressures, but these will pass.
“This is about future proofing and ensuring we avoid creating another problem for ourselves down the line because we didn’t do anything when we had the chance.
“We have the opportunity, but the time is now. The clock is ticking,” urged the CEO.