Australian Financial Regulator Develops New Rules for ICOs and Cryptocurrency

| Updated
by Julia Sakovich · 3 min read
Australian Financial Regulator Develops New Rules for ICOs and Cryptocurrency
Photo: ASIC

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission views cryptocurrencies and crypto-related activities including ICOs as potential threats for traditional financial markets.

Though Australia can’t be considered to be one of the countries that fully reject to accept cutting-edge technologies or are absolutely against cryptocurrencies, a top Australian financial regulator has a very skeptical opinion about the crypto space.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has published its 2018 to 2022 corporate plan. In this document, the regulator describes cryptos as a potential threat to the financial system.

Given this fact, ASIC is going to pay special attention to the crypto space, with a special focus on cryptocurrency exchanges and ICOs. In its plan, the financial regulator outlined its goal to enhance conditions for investors that will guarantee better outcome for them. Improvement of the financial system and development support are among other important tasks that ASIC is going to fulfill.

In its report, the Australian regulator has also enumerated some factors, products, tendencies and barriers that potentially could be harmful and devastating for the industry. According to ASIC, the expanding digital space as well as structural modifications of the financial sphere can negatively influence the industry.

Now ASIC is going to continue making its efforts on monitoring potential threats that can be brought by new products, as for example, cryptocurrencies and ICOs. With a view to prevent their negative impact, ASIC will further work on developing its regulatory frameworks for the market.

The report reads:

“We will continue to focus on monitoring threats of harm from emerging products (e.g. ICOs and crypto currencies), cyber resilience, the adequate management of technological solutions by firms and markets, and misconduct that is facilitated by or through digital and/or cyber-based mechanisms.”

To achieve its aim, ASIC has created several internal cross-team working groups that will be responsible for coordination of introduction of the regulator’s new approaches and principles. What is more, the regulator is going to monitor the implementation of the FX Code of Conduct and the Banking Code of Practice standards within the financial sphere.

ASIC Chair James Shipton commented their new report the following way:

 “ASIC expects financial sector firms to adopt a culture of professionalism from the very top of the organisation right through to the frontline in order to win back community trust. Equally, it is important for ASIC to demonstrate professional values and to be held to account.”

At the current moment, crypto exchanges must meet know-your-customer and anti-money laundering standards introduced by the country’s financial intelligence agency that is called Austrac. There is still no any regulation for crypto exchanges issued by ASIC, nevertheless, last year it introduced a guide that should be followed by companies seeking for raising funds via ICOs.

Speaking about the adoption of the cutting edge technologies in Australia, we should mention that an Australian federal agency is working on launching a national blockchain that will enable firms to carry out transactions based on smart legal contracts.

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Julia Sakovich
Editor-in-Chief Julia Sakovich

Having obtained a diploma in Intercultural Communication, Julia continued her studies taking a Master’s degree in Economics and Management. Becoming captured by innovative technologies, Julia turned passionate about exploring emerging techs believing in their ability to transform all spheres of our life.

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