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On 8 December 2021, the Treasurer announced a review on Australia’s payments system and the regulation of digital assets. Currently, the Federal Government are undertaking reforms under three areas and on Monday released key documents as it begins consulting with the sector:

– Development of a licensing and custody regime for digital assets

The federal government are consulting on approaches to licencing digital currency exchanges and custody requirements for crypto assets. A consultation paper outlining proposals and options for a regulatory framework to support minimum standards of conduct by crypto asset secondary service providers (CASSPrs) and safeguards for consumers buying cryptocurrency has been released. The proposals in the paper recognise the growing importance of the crypto asset ecosystem to both the Australian and global economy, the need for regulatory certainty to encourage innovation and competition and seeks to give consumers greater confidence in their dealings with CASSPrs. Interested parties are invited to comment with feedback required by Friday 27 May 2022. Further information, including the consultation paper and details of how to respond can be found on the Treasury website.

– Board of Taxation review of taxing digital assets

On 21 March 2022, the Federal Government released the Terms of Reference for a review to be undertaken by the Board of Taxation into the appropriate policy framework for the taxation of digital assets and transactions in Australia. In carrying out the Terms of Reference, the Board will consult with taxpayers, tax representative bodies, industry stakeholders and academics. Stakeholders are invited to provide early feedback on the Terms of Reference which can be found online.

– Examination by the Council of Financial Regulators on de-banking

The Government has released the Terms of Reference covering its request for advice from the Council of Financial Regulators (CFR) on potential policy responses to address the issue of de-banking for financial technology firms, digital currency exchanges, and remittance providers.
The CFR has been asked to provide advice to the Government by the end of June 2022.

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