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Crypto Regulation: Binance Australia’s General Manager Ben Rose Provides Perspective on Digital Asset Laws

Hassan Shittu
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: iStock/btgbtg

During an interview at the Intersekt Fintech conference in Melbourne, Australia, on August 31, Ben Rose, General Manager of Binance Australia, expressed strong confidence in the ability of Australian regulators to make informed decisions regarding digital asset regulations in the country.

Rose’s optimism contrasts with the recent challenges and regulatory scrutiny faced by Binance Australia.

In May, the exchange experienced an abrupt disconnection when its payment provider terminated services due to concerns about a “high risk” of scams and fraud.

Binance Australia notified its customers that access to Australian dollar deposits and withdrawals would no longer be available, attributing this action to decisions made by an undisclosed third-party service provider.

Reports indicated the possible involvement of Westpac, a central Australian bank, which had also announced restrictions on fund transfers to certain crypto exchanges.

Furthermore, Australia’s Commonwealth Bank (CBA) implemented partial restrictions on bank payments to crypto exchanges, citing scams and customer financial loss concerns.

In July, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) conducted investigations at Binance Australia’s offices. These inquiries focused on 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 the incorrect classification of some Australian users as wholesale investors.

While ASIC did not officially confirm or deny the searches, they acknowledged that the review of Binance Australia was ongoing.

In contrast, Binance emphasized its commitment to working closely with local authorities and adhering to regulatory standards in Australia.

Rose, the spokesperson for Binance, emphasized their strong commitment to restoring banking relationships and fiat ramp services for their one million Australian customers.

He stated, “We’re actively engaged in discussions and working towards necessary changes.” Despite the challenges, Rose is optimistic that Australian regulators will eventually make the right decisions regarding crypto regulation.

He highlighted the importance of the upcoming Treasury consultation on licensing frameworks in Australia, expressing confidence that it will have a significant impact.

Rose also noted positive engagement between industry stakeholders and regulators, indicating progress. He stated, “I’m confident we’ll reach a resolution, hopefully, sooner rather than later.”

Developments in Australian Crypto Regulation: Insights from Industry Experts

Christian Westerlind Wigstrom, representing Monoova, a payment provider in Australia, noted the substantial increase in discussions between major crypto exchanges and policymakers.

He acknowledged banks’ concerns about scams but urged more nuanced dialogues between regulators, banks, and crypto industry leaders. Wigstrom emphasized the need for proactive collaboration.

Also, during Australian Blockchain Week on June 26, Trevor Power, an Australian Treasury assistant secretary, discussed the structure of a forthcoming framework for classifying tokens based on their function and purpose.

Regarding the timeline for crypto-specific legislation, Power suggested that it’s reasonable to expect such legislation to emerge around 2024. However, the exact timing depends on Australia’s lawmakers’ reception of the framework.

Power emphasized that the framework, as outlined in the token mapping paper, is designed to categorize tokens by considering their function, system, and the value they provide.

The intention is to create a regulatory structure that aligns with these principles, allowing tokens to be easily classified. He stressed that this framework aims to be technology-agnostic and not limited to specific types of tokens.