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 which could have negative effects on the economy.
Schebesta’s comments follow a statement by Jim Chalmers , Australian Treasurer , on Aug. 22, in which he stated that the Treasury would prioritize token mapping work in 2022 in order to demonstrate how “crypto assets should be regulated”.
Schebesta told Cointelegraph that Australia has a “fledgling” crypto industry, but 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 (a nonfungible token NFT gaming platform).
He said that “we rush” to complete the token mapping exercise could result in crypto companies being turned away, especially if it’s done with a “very different approach” than other countries.
Schebesta stressed the importance of taking the time to do deep analysis and not “rushing it out.”
Three months after its election, Australia’s Labor government announced that it was token-mapping. 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.
Gadens partner Liam Hennessy from Australia told Cointelegraph that Australia is at the “frontline of crypto developments.” However, the lawyer expressed concern that Australia is “slowly falling behind” the U.K., U.S. due to its failure to create rules that would apply to those “in the cryptocurrency industry, particularly those in 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 the senate hearing 2021. He highlighted that Australia would see a large influx of new businesses […] as it is a safe, stable and great regulatory location to build their business,” and that “tens to thousands” of jobs would be created in “the next two to three year.”