Fintech start-ups have been warned against complacency amid the “buzz and hype” of reform promised by a federal government facing a tough election.
Regulatory uncertainty remains one of the biggest challenges for crypto, according to the former federal official behind the National Blockchain Roadmap.
Keynote speaker Chloe White, now chief executive of Genesis Block, warned an industry conference on Tuesday against complacency.
The blockchain, and the digital assets and cryptocurrency it spawns, was the subject of a parliamentary inquiry that resulted in a regulatory work package with a 2022 timeline.
“There’s a lot of buzz and hype right now about all the reform that’s been promised by the government,” Ms. White told Blockchain Week.
“Now is not the time to rest on our laurels or think that compliance isn’t as important as it used to be.”
Ms White, a strategic policy adviser to top body Blockchain Australia, said the industry needs to stay on top of the political cycle, even when the sentiment is good.
“CEOs and teams are really struggling to weigh how risk is going to affect them when the reform pipeline is quite uncertain, and the timelines for that reform are also quite uncertain, as we are now in an election year.”
She warned that jurisdictions around the world are increasingly rolling out progressive start-up and investment-friendly policies, potentially attracting Australian talent and money.
US President Joe Biden’s new cryptocurrency executive order directs US agencies and regulators to adapt to the growth of the digital asset industry and changing financial markets.
In Australia, new licensing and custody requirements for crypto exchange assets were released this week for industry comment by May.
The Board of Taxation will review tax provisions for digital assets, working through the December deadline.
The chairman of the Federal Parliament’s Financial Technology and Regulatory Inquiry, Andrew Bragg, told the conference on Monday that Australia had a unique opportunity to clean up its regulatory settings.
Labor has yet to reveal a crypto policy ahead of elections due in mid-May.
Australian Associated Press