Australia’s Substantive Crypto Regulation Could Wait Until 2024

  • The government plans to release consultation papers in the second quarter of 2023.
  • Perceived delay in regulation would leave several crypto participants disappointed.

Reports from Australia reveal it is unlikely for the government to release conclusive crypto legislation before the end of 2023. Based on the timetable of consultative programs and events, Australia’s substantive crypto regulation cannot be achieved earlier than 2024.

Australians have been expecting a robust cryptocurrency framework from the government. The country’s Labor government announced a token mapping exercise barely three months after it came into power in 2022. Then, the government opened the space for public submissions, which it will review before a final regulatory structure. Submissions closed on March 3, 2023, with crypto practitioners expecting the next steps to follow.

Internal government documents obtained under the freedom of information laws revealed that the government intends to release consultation papers in the second quarter of 2023. After releasing consultation papers, the government will hold stakeholder roundtables on cryptocurrency licensing and custody. The time scheduled for the latter is the third quarter of the year.

According to the obtained internal information, the perceived delay in finalizing the regulatory process is to allow the government to get a complete picture of the crypto industry. With the current timetable, the earliest time to get final cabinet submissions from the stipulated consultation would be toward the end of 2023, pushing any decision into 2024 or beyond.

The perceived delay would likely leave several crypto participants disappointed. Consumer groups needing protection and crypto-based businesses seeking legalization are worried, as they would have to wait longer than anticipated.

According to reports, Australia’s Treasury Department considers that there is a weakened interest in cryptocurrencies in the aftermath of the FTX collapse. The regulator believes the current condition would offer more time for it to work out an appropriate and robust regulatory framework.

A survey conducted by Swyftx revealed that approximately one million Australians intend to purchase crypto for the first time in the next 12 months. That would bring the number of crypto users in the country to 5 million.

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