Australian consumer group calls for better "tablet" cryptocurrencies

Australian consumer group calls for better “tablet” cryptocurrencies – Mail Bonus

The Australian Consumer Interest Group (CHOICE) has urged the federal government to provide better protection for cryptocurrencies while presenting the proposed regulatory framework for cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country.

The regulatory framework was proposed in response to the Federal Ministry’s consultation report for “CASSPs” defined as companies providing cryptocurrencies and exchange services. CHOICE said:

“As things stand, enforceable protection in the unregulated cryptocurrency market is somewhere between negligible and non-existent.

By outlining four main areas in its framework, the group called for a single definition of cryptography for better regulation, licensing for exchanges in accordance with current financial licenses, and for them to be bound by consumer protection laws to prohibit things like misleading advertising.

Finally, CHOICE said that cryptocurrency exchanges need to take steps to prevent fraudulent payments and repay customers when they occur.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the country’s chief financial regulator, has previously warned that cryptocurrency is not recognized as a financial product. CHOICE’s chief adviser, Patrick Veyret, commented on the current rules:

“The cryptocurrency market is booming, but our laws are lagging behind, more and more Australians are buying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum without adequate consumer protection.”

Veyret added that there are cases where “people have lost all their savings without being able to get their money back” and recently mentioned the collapse of TerraUSD (UST) as “a clear example of the great volatility in this unregulated market”.

According to an ongoing survey conducted by CHOICE, only about one in ten Australians bought encryption such as Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) last year and 71% who indicated interest in the cryptocurrency market did not buy due to price fluctuations and cheat.

CHOICE reported that a special survey of 1,034 Australians conducted in March and April found that more than half of respondents did not know whether cryptocurrencies were subject to consumer protection such as those applicable to the stock market. Approximately the same amount of people (50%) believed that such consumer protection for cryptocurrencies should be legalized.

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As reported by the Cointelegraph in August 2021, the first six months of that year cost Australia’s investment fraud more than $ 50 million, with cryptocurrencies costing players over $ 25 million, more than half the reported loss.

A recent report by CHOICE in March stated that the Australian Competition Authority, the Australian Competition and Consumer Authority (ACCC), confirmed nearly 10,500 reports of cryptocurrency fraud in 2021, with a loss of about $ 92.6 million for the year.

The government is taking action on cryptocurrencies despite the current lack of regulations, in March the ACCC went to court to publish scam ads for scams and the ACCC has stated that it wants to support the crypto industry but faces challenges in managing such innovative technologies.

The country’s new leading party, the Workers’ Party, has previously been criticized for its lack of cryptocurrency policy, and Veyret urged the new government to make cryptocurrencies a priority:

“The new federal government needs to curb the unregulated cryptocurrency industry as one of its priorities for financial services reform. Australia expects the same level of consumer protection and control over cryptocurrencies as it does with other financial products.”

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