The chairman of Australia’s Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) says crypto is “being driven by extraordinary consumer and investor demand,” noting that “The implications for consumers are potentially huge.” The securities regulator is currently working with lawmakers to develop rules for cryptocurrencies.
Regulator Sees ‘Extraordinary Consumer and Investor Demand’ for Crypto
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Chair Joe Longo talked about cryptocurrency at the Australian Financial Review’s Super & Wealth Summit Monday.
“Consumers should approach investing in crypto with great caution,” he said, emphasizing its lack of investor protection. However, Longo opined:
Crypto is right at our doorstep and driving extraordinary investor and consumer demand. Potentially, the implications of crypto for consumers could be huge.
He acknowledged that the Securities Regulator is currently working with legislators to create rules for cryptocurrency, but he also stressed that most crypto assets are unregulated and investors can make their own decisions when it comes to investing in them.
“At present many crypto assets are probably not financial products,” he explained. “ASIC has already provided some guidance on exchange-traded funds linked to crypto assets — they at least are financial products, and traded on a licensed exchange, so there will be some protection there.”
However, ASIC Chief warned that:
Investors are largely on their own, at least for the moment.
Earlier this month, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA or Commbank), the country’s largest bank, announced that it will start allowing some clients to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies directly using its app. The pilot program will be in collaboration with Gemini, a cryptocurrency exchange.
The bank’s CEO subsequently said that although there are risks in participating in crypto, there are bigger risks in not participating.
According to the chairman of ASIC,
The fact Australia’s largest bank is already proposing a means of crypto exposure for its retail customers is telling. Yes, it’s only a pilot project, but the overall direction is clear. The debate about the future of financial services is not confined to the margins.
Jane Hume (Liberal Party Senator for Victoria) also addressed cryptocurrency Monday at the conference. It is important to recognize that cryptocurrency isn’t a trend, and that there are huge potentialities for decentralized finance (defi).
What do you think about the Australian securities regulator’s comments? Please leave your comments below.
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