Australian senator drafts bill aimed at stablecoin, digital yuan regulation

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Aus­tralian Lib­er­al Sen­a­tor Andrew Bragg has released a new draft bill aimed at clamp­ing down on dig­i­tal asset exchanges, sta­ble­coins, and China’s cen­tral bank dig­i­tal cur­ren­cy, the e‑Yuan.

In a state­ment on Sept. 18, Sen­a­tor Bragg stat­ed that “Aus­tralia must keep pace with the glob­al race for reg­u­la­tion on dig­i­tal assets” as “it is essen­tial that the par­lia­ment dri­ves law reform” on the matter.

The new draft bill, titled Dig­i­tal Assets (Mar­ket Reg­u­la­tion) Bill 2022, calls for the intro­duc­tion of licens­es for dig­i­tal asset exchanges, dig­i­tal asset cus­tody ser­vices, sta­ble­coin issuers, as well as dis­clo­sure require­ments for facil­i­ta­tors of the e‑Yuan in Australia. 

Speak­ing to Coin­tele­graph, Sen­a­tor Bragg said Aus­tralia has “quite a risk expo­sure, as an econ­o­my, and that’s one of the rea­sons why we need to have a seri­ous pro­gram for man­ag­ing dis­rup­tion, man­ag­ing risks, that emanate from the devel­op­ment of a CBDC.”

Sen­a­tor Bragg said the objec­tive of this par­tic­u­lar act is to pro­vide “an effec­tive reg­u­la­to­ry frame­work” as well as to pro­vide “for the report­ing of infor­ma­tion by cer­tain banks that facil­i­tate the use or avail­abil­i­ty of dig­i­tal Yuan in Aus­tralia” and to pro­vide “addi­tion­al duties” for gov­ern­ing bod­ies in rela­tion to this act and the “reg­u­la­tion of activ­i­ties relat­ing to dig­i­tal assets and dig­i­tal Yuan.”

Sen­a­tor Bragg said that this isn’t “an accusato­ry posi­tion to take” it’s sim­ply just being “pre­pared and gath­er­ing infor­ma­tion” which he thinks is entire­ly “rea­son­able.”

The Lib­er­al sen­a­tor also added that Aus­tralia wouldn’t ben­e­fit from hav­ing a CBDC as “pri­va­cy issues can­not be man­aged,” how­ev­er it is impor­tant that the Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment “put some­thing on the table” to man­age oth­er CBD­Cs being intro­duced, as the Gov­er­nor of The Reserve Bank of Aus­tralia has “spo­ken before say­ing there needs to be reg­u­la­tion on stablecoins.”

The draft bill con­sul­ta­tion is open until Oct. 31, 2022 and wel­comes “com­mu­ni­ty feedback.”

Andrew Bragg, a pro-cryp­to Aus­tralian politi­cian, has been an out­spo­ken advo­cate for cryp­tocur­ren­cy since he was elect­ed sen­a­tor in 2019. Sen­a­tor Bragg has been push­ing for a clear reg­u­la­to­ry frame­work for dig­i­tal assets and cryp­to com­pa­nies since 2021, in an effort to pre­vent local star­tups from mov­ing overseas. 

Sen­a­tor Bragg not­ed that he “chaired the com­mit­tee” for dig­i­tal assets with “no fixed view at the time” and “con­duct­ed an inquiry into these mat­ters” as well as inform­ing him­self “about the risks and opportunities.”

Relat­ed: Chi­nese munic­i­pal bank issues first-ever dig­i­tal yuan loan using intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty as collateral

Mean­while, the Aus­tralian Labor gov­ern­ment is said to be work­ing on “cryp­to asset reforms” to “improve the way Australia’s reg­u­la­to­ry sys­tem man­ages cryp­to assets.” 

Last month, the trea­sury stat­ed it will “pri­or­i­tize token map­ping work in 2022, which will help iden­ti­fy how cryp­to assets and relat­ed ser­vices should be regulated.”

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