Australia’s financial regulator, the Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has promised to prioritize crypto assets and decentralized financing (DeFi) during the next four years.
According to ASIC’s newly revealed “Corporate Plan,” which was released on Monday, the financial regulator will focus on “digitally enabled misconducts” as “developing technology and products disrupt our financial ecosystem” as part of its four-year strategic plan, which extends until 2026.
Joe Longo, chair of ASIC said:
“Our regulatory environment is changing and evolving — climate risk, our aging population, emerging data and digital technologies, and significant volatility in the crypto-assets market are all having a transformational impact.”
He stated that in 2021, Scamwatch, a website that educates individuals and businesses on spotting, avoiding, and reporting scammers, received 4,783 reports of crypto investment scams and reported losses totaling $99 million.
The actions will “protect investors from the harms posed by crypto-assets,” according to ASIC, and will include, among other things, supporting the development of an effective regulatory framework, implementing and monitoring the regulatory model for exchange-related products, and raising public awareness of the risks inherent in crypto-assets and DeFi.
Longo warned against investing in cryptocurrency again in a Wednesday Sydney Morning Herald piece, characterizing it as “a highly risky and highly volatile activity,” adding customers “should be really careful before you do it.”
ASIC’s declaration comes just days after Australia’s new ruling government revealed plans to begin regulating the crypto sector by the end of the year by completing a “token mapping” operation.
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