Fred Schebesta, a crypto investor and entrepreneur from Australia, has called the Australian government’s priority for token mapping “wonderful”, but warned that it is possible to rush it.
Schebesta’s comments follow a statement by Jim Chalmers, Australian Treasurer, on August 22 that stated that the Treasury would prioritize token mapping work in 2022 to show how “crypto assets should be regulated.”
Schebesta told Cointelegraph that Australia has a “fledgling” crypto industry, but that it needs to “align” with other major markets and their regulations.
Schebesta stated that token mapping is complex and that things are constantly changing.
Schebesta, an Australian entrepreneur and investor, is best known for co-founding Finder, an Australian comparison site. Schebesta was also co-founder of the crypto investment fund Hive Empire Capital, and is an advisor to Balthazar NFT gaming platform.
He said that “if we rush” — the token mapping exercise might turn away crypto companies. This is especially true if there’s “very different approaches” to countries.
Schebesta stressed the importance of taking the time to do deep analysis and not “rushing it out.”
Australia’s Labor government announced token-mapping three months after its election. This broke a long silence about how it would approach crypto regulation.
Treasurer Chalmers stated at the time that the government wanted to regulate the “largely unregulated crypto sector”.
He stated that the crypto industry is currently unregulated. We need to balance the system so we can embrace innovative technologies.
Related: Australia’s new government signals its position on crypto regulation
Many in the industry applauded the announcement, but some were disappointed that the country wasn’t “further along” on the path to regulatory certainty.
Cointelegraph was told by Liam Hennessy (Australian lawyer), that Australia has been “forefront” of crypto developments. However, he expressed concern that Australia is “slowly falling behind both the U.K.A. and U.S.” because there are no rules in place for “the crypto industry in particular, financial services.”
Hennessy believes token mapping is important, but it shouldn’t be the main focus of regulators.
“It should not be secondary to creating tax rules and regulations about licensing that we can give our businesses that really require it to compete with our global competition.”
He is concerned that Australia may fall into the trap of “thinking a little attention from the government would solve the problems”, which he believes the token mapping exercise is being viewed “to some degree.”
Schebesta stated that he spoke at a hearing of the Senate in 2021. He highlighted “Australia will have a huge inflow of new businesses because Australia is a safe, secure, and great regulatory environment to build their business.” He also said that “tens to thousands” of jobs would be created over the next two-to three years.