As part of the greatest reform of its A$650 billion-a-day ($463 billion) payments industry in a quarter-century, Australia will create a licencing structure for cryptocurrency exchanges and contemplate creating a retail central bank digital currency.
The government will also widen its payment regulations to include online transaction providers such as Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google, as well as buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) providers such as Afterpay Ltd (APT.AX), putting an end to their status as unregulated.
“If we don’t modify the current framework, Silicon Valley will decide the future of our payment system,” Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg warned in a speech. “Australian sovereignty over our payment system must be preserved.”
According to fresh study, the number of cryptocurrency investors in Australia has risen by 10% this year to 28.8%, up from 18.4% last year. The title of this article is The Independent Reserve’s Cryptocurrency Index for 2021. (IRCI).
Australia’s conservative government is putting itself at the forefront of global efforts to rein in giant technology corporations, while also taking a more inclusive stance than countries like India and China, which have made Bitcoin illegal.
As people’s life migrated online during the epidemic, the use of bitcoin and non-cash payments skyrocketed in Australia.
According to government figures, almost 55 million non-cash payments are made in Australia every day, with nearly half of the population using their phones to make payments. In comparison to last year, the number of Australians dealing in bitcoin has increased by 63 percent this year.
Frydenberg stated that the government would begin consultations on developing a licencing framework for digital exchanges in early 2022, allowing customers to buy and sell crypto assets in a controlled atmosphere.
According to Frydenberg, the government will also consult on regulating enterprises that hold crypto assets on behalf of customers, as well as the feasibility of a central bank digital currency.
Afterpay supports “any approach that takes into account consumer benefits from the innovation and competition Afterpay has brought to the market,” according to a spokesperson for the company, which has agreed to be bought out by Square Inc (SQ.N), the payments firm founded by Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) founder Jack Dorsey.
Apple has declined to comment, while Google has yet to respond.