Australia to Regulate Crypto Sector as Part of Payments Reform – Regulation Bitcoin News

Australia’s government will soon regulate all cryptocurrency exchanges and their custodians. The push is part of a major overhaul, aimed at preserving the country’s sovereignty over its payments system, which will also affect providers like Apple and Google.

Australia has new payment laws that cover crypto business and big tech

Authorities in Australia are gearing up to update the nation’s legislation governing payments in the largest reform of the industry in over two decades. These changes will allow for the expansion of the regulatory framework in order to include new online payment processors, including those that deal with cryptocurrency.

Australia to Regulate Crypto Sector as Part of Payments Reform

Reuters reports that the government is planning to begin consultations in 2022 on setting up a licensing system for cryptocurrency exchanges, and to regulate platforms holding digital assets for clients. Canberra wants to investigate the feasibility of an Australian central bank digital currency (CBDC).

The daily figure of 55 million non-cash payment has risen during the Covid-19 pandemic. Many Australians are turning to online alternatives for their payments. Nearly half use their smartphones to pay, while crypto transactions will increase by 63% in 2021.

Australia’s plan to broaden its payment regulations also aims to cover online transaction processors such as Apple and Google as well as buy-now-pay-later providers like Afterpay. Their unsupervised activities in Australia will be stopped. Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg spoke out about the necessity of the amendments.

Silicon Valley will decide the future of the payment system if we don’t reform the existing framework. Australia should not lose control of our payment system.

Google and Apple have so far refrained from commenting on the announcement but a spokesperson for Afterpay has been quoted as stating that the company supports “any approach that takes into account consumer benefits from the innovation and competition Afterpay has brought to the market.” The platform has agreed to a buyout from Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s payments firm Square, Reuters noted.

Australia’s move comes at a time when a number of other major economies are taking steps to determine their regulatory policies regarding financial innovations, including cryptocurrencies. The report indicates that Australia, unlike India and China, is planning to adopt a similar inclusive approach to the United States.

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