Australia’s Finance Services Minister Jane Hume has given the clearest indication that the government has no plans to heavily restrict cryptocurrencies in the country.
In her speech detailing the government’s plan on managing digital financial platforms, products, and advice, Hume said cryptocurrencies are here to stay, and they will evolve into a critical asset class, the Financial Review reports.
According to Hume, investing in high-risk assets does not necessarily need strict regulation, but it’s a matter of personal responsibility.
“I would like to make something clear: cryptocurrency is not a fad. It is an asset class that will grow in importance. If you want to invest in Dogecoin, I won’t stand in your way. Personal opportunity and personal responsibility are two sides of the same coin.”
However, she noted crypto assets are not entirely free from regulations like know-your-customer and tax laws. She maintained that the government should only provide a supportive environment for individuals willing to invest in digital assets.
Hume also commented on the influence of social media platforms in offering investment information. She noted that there is misleading information and investment advice online that can lead to losses for vulnerable investors.
She cited platforms like TikTok and Reddit as sources of bad financial advice, especially for young investors.
“Some of the information and opinions that consumers receive from online forums will be bad. But some of it will be good. And a lot of it will better engage younger generations in investment and financial markets,” she added.
Furthermore, in 2020, the country’s regulator, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, revealed a spike in online content targeting inexperienced retail investors.
U.S. Treasury initiates plan to regulate cryptocurrencies
Australia appears to be taking a different stance from other jurisdictions on digital assets regulations. Humes speech comes as the United States Treasury revealed that it is initiating a crackdown on crypto markets and transactions.
According to the Treasury proposal, any crypto transfer worth $10,000 or move should be reported to the Internal Revenue Service. In a press statement, the Treasury said cryptocurrencies in their current state make detection hard hence providing room for facilitating criminal activities.
Elsewhere, India is also among countries in advanced stages to ban digital assets with authorities working a bill.