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Australian Crypto Exchange Head Welcomes Industry Regulation

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Australia risks being left behind if regulation of the local cryptocurrency industry doesn’t support innovation, according to the head of the nation’s largest digital asset exchange.

It would be a “real shame for Australia if we don’t take this bull by the horns,” BTC Markets Chief Executive Officer Caroline Bowler said in a Bloomberg Television interview Wednesday.

Australia would benefit from a “progressive framework of regulation,” she said, and praised the approach in the European Union, which has moved to “regulate innovation in, rather than innovation out.” Bowler also welcomed the approach of regulators in Singapore for embracing the crypto industry.

She contrasted the EU’s stance with that of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Since taking over as SEC chief in April, Gary Gensler has taken a hard line on crypto exchanges and said Tuesday there are only a “small number” of digital assets that don’t need to be registered with the commission.

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“There is a concern naturally that regulation can become overbearing,” Bowler said. But citing a BTC Markets survey, she said investors note a lack of regulation in the Australian market. Financial advisers should be allowed to give advice on crypto assets to help investors navigate volatility in the market, Bowler said. 

Regulation of the industry is welcome, said Bowler, and there is a “certain sense of optimism” around a report on the issue due to be presented in October by a parliamentary committee. 

— With assistance by Haidi Lun, and Shery Ahn

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 9/15/2021

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