Ben Rose, General Manager of Binance Australia, expressed confidence in Australian regulators’ ability to make informed decisions on digital asset regulations during an interview at the Intersekt Fintech conference in Melbourne, Australia on August 31. This comes in contrast to the recent challenges and regulatory scrutiny faced by Binance Australia.
In May, Binance Australia experienced a sudden disconnection when its payment provider terminated services due to concerns about scams and fraud. The exchange informed its customers that Australian dollar deposits and withdrawals would no longer be available, citing decisions made by an undisclosed third-party service provider. Reports suggested the possible involvement of Westpac, a central Australian bank, which had also imposed restrictions on fund transfers to certain crypto exchanges. Additionally, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank implemented partial restrictions on bank payments to crypto exchanges, citing concerns about scams and customer financial loss.
In July, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) conducted investigations at Binance Australia’s offices regarding how the exchange categorized its clients as retail or wholesale investors. In April, Binance had already announced the closure of its local derivatives exchange due to incorrect classification of some Australian users. While ASIC did not confirm or deny these searches, they acknowledged an ongoing review of Binance Australia.
Despite these challenges, Binance expressed its commitment to working closely with local authorities and complying with regulatory standards in Australia. Ben Rose emphasized their dedication to restoring banking relationships and fiat ramp services for their one million Australian customers. He expressed optimism that Australian regulators will make the right decisions regarding crypto regulation, highlighting the importance of the upcoming Treasury consultation on licensing frameworks and the positive engagement between industry stakeholders and regulators.
Insights from Industry Experts on Australian Crypto Regulation
Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, representing Australian payment provider Monoova, noted an increase in discussions between major crypto exchanges and policymakers. He acknowledged banks’ concerns about scams but emphasized the need for proactive collaboration between regulators, banks, and crypto industry leaders.
During Australian Blockchain Week, Trevor Power, an Australian Treasury assistant secretary, discussed the structure of a forthcoming framework for classifying tokens based on their function and purpose. Power suggested that crypto-specific legislation could be expected around 2024, depending on the reception of the framework by Australia’s lawmakers. The framework aims to categorize tokens by considering their function, system, and value, with the intention of creating a technology-agnostic regulatory structure.