Australian lawmakers call for sweeping changes to crypto rules

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Australia should create a new regulatory regime for crypto assets to bring business onshore and help it compete with Singapore and the UK, a report commissioned by parliament has recommended.

The extensive study, published on Wednesday, called on lawmakers to make wide-ranging changes to encourage more crypto business to the country, and to smooth legal pathways that prevent companies from accessing normal banking services.

The report underscores tensions among policymakers worldwide as they try to balance investor protection with grabbing a share of the fast-growing crypto industry.

Among the changes it recommended included a new type of market licence for crypto exchanges, a clear framework for custody of assets and new company rules that covered new projects in decentralised finance, or DeFi. The report, commissioned in March, is expected to provide the framework for domestic crypto legislation next year, probably after an election.

“What we don’t want to do is put a new coat on an old hook,” said Andrew Bragg, senator for New South Wales, who chaired the committee that compiled the report. “There’s a strong anti-competitive element in Australia where the incumbents don’t like innovation and their solution is to push new ideas into old regulatory frameworks that were designed for something else.”

“The agenda here is to try and be as good as Singapore or the UK. We want to be a world-leading jurisdiction for cryptocurrency,” he told the Financial Times.

Bragg, a former regulator, added that he was confident of getting support for his recommendations

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