Bragg flags draft crypto regulation bill

Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has announced his plans to introduce a draft bill for consultation regarding Australia’s regulation of digital assets and cryptocurrency, especially China’s central bank digital currency (CBDC), the e-Yuan.

Titled the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022, Bragg said it will introduce licenses for digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody services and stablecoin issuers, as well as establish disclosure requirements for facilitators of the e-Yuan in Australia.

Bragg said such a bill was necessary for Australia to “keep pace with the global race for regulation of digital assets”, as it is “falling behind on consumer protection and investment promotion”.

“It’s very important that we protect consumers against any unnecessary harm but it’s also important that we protect the country against major risks that may emerge from the development of new cryptocurrencies issued by foreign states,” Bragg said in an interview on ABC’s RN Breakfast program.

“The Bill sets out a set of protections for consumers but also obligations for providers. What we have seen in the last six months or so has been the collapse of major stablecoins including the US stablecoin Terra.

“The Governor of the Reserve Bank in Australia here and Janet Yellen in the US have been calling for regulation, so that if someone wants to issue a stablecoin they are required to hold reserve capital to meet any risk.”

Bragg also said the Bill would help Australia prepare for the entrance of China’s digital currency, the e-Yuan, into the Australian market.

“We need to know more about this digital currency and so the Bill establishes reporting requirements in that regard,” he said.

Consultation on the bill is open until 31 October.