Australian regulator says drafting rules for cryptos, but investors ‘on their own’ for now

FILE PHOTO: Representations of cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Dash, Ethereum, Ripple and Litecoin are seen in this illustration picture taken June 2, 2021. REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration/File Photo

Australia‘s corporate watchdog said on Monday it was working with lawmakers to develop rules for digital currencies but warned many crypto assets remained unregulated for now, leaving investors in such products “on their own”.

In his first public comments since the country’s largest bank unveiled plans to offer cryptocurrency trading, Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chair Joe Longo told investors to be cautious buying products that had no protection.

“Consumers should approach investing in crypto with great caution,” Longo told an Australian Financial Review Conference.

“At present many crypto-assets are probably not ‘financial products’ …. for the most part, for now at least, investors are on their own.”

Earlier this month, Commonwealth Bank of Australia broke industry ranks by becoming the first main-street bank in the developed world to offer a platform for retail customers to trade cryptocurrencies.

“Crypto is on our doorstep, here and now, and being driven by extraordinary consumer and investor demand. The implications for consumers are potentially huge,” Longo said.

The regulator said it was working with lawmakers who have proposed changing laws to allow decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs), which are governed by artificial intelligence rather than a board of directors, and a licensing regime for crypto exchanges.

“ASIC does not strive to eliminate risk. But, nor should we ignore it,” Longo added.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.