Australia’s biggest crypto exchanges are making regulatory breakthrough overseas, while local legislation remains in the lurch.
A pair of prominent crypto exchanges in Australia has scored regulatory licences in Singapore and the United Kingdom, but efforts to win over local regulators remain at a standstill.
Earlier this month, CoinJar made headlines as one of the first crypto exchanges in the world to be registered by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. It is currently one of only 10 crypto-focused firms to do so.
“The UK is a world leader in fintech and a progressive regulator, so we are very pleased to have received this recognition as part of our commitment to offering people a safe and positive experience of buying and selling digital currencies,” CoinJar CEO Asher Tan said.
The move aligns with a similar win from fellow Australian exchange Independent Reserve, which was approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore this week.
“With tailor-made rules for the crypto industry, Singapore currently has the clearest and most detailed licensing requirements of any jurisdiction in Asia,” Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny said.
Mr Przelozny said that since receiving their in-principle approval from Singaporean regulators in August 2021, they’ve noticed an influx of new institutional and retail investors.
“Until that point, most had stayed on the sidelines because determining who to trust was a lot more difficult,” he explained.
Together, CoinJar and Independent Reserve hold over $2 billion in crypto assets. Both are based in Australia, but neither is satisfied with the state of Australia’s regulatory ecosystem when it comes to crypto assets like bitcoin.
With a Senate committee set to issue its final verdict on how the blockchain and cryptocurrencies like bitcoin fit into Australia’s financial regulatory landscape in October, local players remain cautiously optimistic about what regulation could bring.
According to Mr Przelozny, “a well-regulated environment will benefit both investors and crypto industry stakeholders”.
Mr Tan agreed, arguing that regulation would bring long-term certainty to the space, priming the market for further investment and job opportunities.
“As the industry grows and innovates at a rapid pace, it’s vital that legitimate businesses are nurtured further, while cowboy operators are swiftly removed to prevent reputation damage to the industry caused by consumer scams and fraudulent behaviour,” he said.
Despite the absence of formal Australian regulations, Mr Tan said that CoinJar would adhere to the spirit of their FCA obligations.
“Cryptocurrency is not the Wild West, it’s here for good,” he said.
By: Fergus Halliday