Blockchain Australia Accuses Gov’t Of Misunderstanding Crypto

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Blockchain Australia claims that the Australian government inclines toward a scam narrative when addressing crypto assets.
The association is worried that Australia has fallen behind other countries in regulating crypto.
The blockchain industry body urges the government to fairly regulate the crypto industry.

Blockchain Australia, the country’s leading blockchain industry body, has accused the government of misunderstanding the crypto industry. The industry body claims the Australian government inclines toward a scam narrative when addressing crypto assets rather than an innovation narrative.

The association has recently declared that Australia has fallen behind other countries in justifiably and fairly regulating the crypto ecosystem. Blockchain Australia reasoned that the country’s disparaging “wild west” narrative is the greatest obstacle on the way.

Steve Vallas, CEO at Blockchain Australia, who appeared before the Senate Select Committee on Australia, said Blockchain Australia opposes the narrative that the crypto industry continues to be “a bit of a wild west.” He further added that the association has been “very deliberately asking for the regulators to engage with us.”

The blockchain industry body asserted that the “wild west” narrative has emerged as a consequence of the 2017 initial coin offering (ICO) frenzy that saw investors losing billions of dollars. Vallas said the government is taking a “wait and see” approach, which is quite obstructive. He said:

The landscape […] today is entirely different. We don’t see an appetite within Australia for ICOs, we don’t see the regulators comfortable allowing that to happen again, so we have a new chapter, but the narrative has persisted.

Vallas further added that this approach is an indication that the Australian officials don’t really understand the crypto industry. “When people don’t understand the space, the tendency is to lean in on the wild west, to lean in on nefarious and bad actors,” he said.

Aussies Are Obsessed With Crypto

Recently, SelfWealth, a trading platform for Australian and US shares, revealed that it would allow crypto trading by the year-end. Prior to this, the company had conducted a survey which found that 30% of its clients had already invested in crypto with another 38% having plans to invest in the space in the future.

Another survey by Finder revealed that approximately 3 million Aussies are constantly trading cryptocurrency using their smartphones. The survey also confirmed that more than 30% of Australians believe Bitcoin will ultimately become a currency.

In addition, the giant payment network Visa has partnered with CryptoSpend to allow consumers to spend their Bitcoin through Visa cards. This marks the first crypto debit cards to come to Australia.

In late July, Blockchain Australia recommended a set of regulations to the government. “The government and relevant regulators should provide crypto asset providers a safe harbor until such a time that they introduce guidance or legislation. Any legislation should contain an appropriate transition period and not apply retrospectively,” the blockchain industry body said.