Australia announced Monday that it will conduct a virtual inventory of its cryptocurrency holdings. This was the first indication from the center-left government about its plans to regulate the $1-trillion sector.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers stated that his department would conduct “token mapping,” cataloging of the types and uses of digital currency within the country. This will be the first step in identifying which cryptocurrency assets and how to regulate them. He added that Australia would be the first country to undertake such an exercise.
Chalmers stated that, with the increasing proliferation of crypto assets to the point where crypto advertisements can be seen all over major sporting events, it is important to ensure customers engaging in crypto are adequately informed and protected.
Australia has struggled for years to find a way to regulate cryptocurrency. This initiative is just the first step along that path to reach its goal.
Since 2020, when COVID-19’s stimulus payments and homework prompted an increase in sector popularity, intervention calls have increased. A Senate inquiry conducted by the conservative government last year recommended broad-based regulations to protect crypto owners. However, this administration lost an election in May and no new laws were passed.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission also stated that it supports regulation of the sector. It cited a study that showed that 44% of retail investors possessed cryptocurrency by late 2021.
Chalmers didn’t specify any planned regulations when he gave his announcement. However, he stated that the token mapping exercise would jumpstart the country’s cryptocurrency reform framework.