It’s official – Australia is joining the global regulatory race for crypto assets. On Feb. 3, the Australian Treasury released a consultation paper on “Token Mapping,” proposing a taxonomy of four types of products related to the crypto industry. This paper seeks to inform “a fact‑based, consumer conscious and innovation-friendly” approach to policy development.

The paper outlines the key concepts of ‘crypto networks,’ ‘crypto tokens,’ and ‘smart contracts.’ According to the Treasury’s vision, a crypto network is a distributed computer system capable of hosting crypto tokens. A ‘crypto token’ is defined as a unit of digital information that can be ‘exclusively used or controlled’ by a person who doesn’t administer the host hardware where that token is recorded. A ‘smart contract’ is computer code that has been published to a crypto network’s database.

The paper proposes its taxonomy of four types of crypto-related products. Crypto asset services include lending and borrowing, fiat on/off ramping, crypto token trading, funds management, mining/staking-as-a-service, gambling, and custody. Intermediated crypto assets are the closest to a wide-spread definition of tokens and include stablecoins. Network tokens are a “new type of currency” constituting peer-to-peer payment infrastructure. Smart contracts exist on a spectrum from ‘intermediated’ to ‘public.’

The Treasury will wait for feedback up until March 3. The next major step of a national regulatory discussion will come with a release of a similar paper on the possible licensing and custody framework for crypto in mid-2023.

Now that Australia has joined the global regulatory race, it will be interesting to see how the national regulators tailor existing laws for a large portion of the crypto ecosystem.

Title: Australia Joins Global Regulatory Race for Crypto Assets