Rushed ‘token mapping’ could hurt Australian crypto space – Finder founder

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Australian crypto entrepreneur and investor Fred Schebesta has described the Australian government’s prioritization of token charting as “wonderful”, but warns that rushing it could have adverse effects on the economy.

Schebesta’s comments come after Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers released a statement on Aug. 22 stating that “Treasury will prioritize token mapping work” in 2022 to show how “crypto assets and related services should be regulated “.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Schebesta believes Australia already has a “nascent” crypto industry but needs to “keep up with other major markets and their regulations”.

Schebesta added that the “complexities” of token mapping are unclear and “things are changing as well.”

Schebesta is an Australian entrepreneur and investor, best known as the co-founder of Finder, an Australian comparison website. Schebesta is also a co-founder of crypto investment fund Hive Empire Capital and an advisor for Balthazar, an NFT gaming platform.

He explained that if “we rush” the token mapping exercise could hijack crypto businesses, especially if there is a “very different approach” to other countries.

Schebesta stressed that now is not the time to “rush” but to take the time to “take it easy and really, really do a deeper analysis.”

The announcement of the symbolic mapping of Australia’s new Labor government came three months after it took office, breaking a long silence on how it would approach crypto regulation in the country.

At the time, Treasurer Chalmers said the government wanted to rule the “largely unregulated” crypto industry.

“As it stands, the crypto industry is largely unregulated, and we need to do some work to find the right balance so that we can embrace new and innovative technologies,” he said. .

Related: Australia’s new government finally signals its stance on crypto regulation

While many industry players hailed the announcement as a “significant step” for the industry, some were disappointed that the country was not “further” down the road to regulatory certainty.

Australian lawyer Liam Hennessy, a partner at Gadens, told Cointelegraph that Australia is at the forefront of crypto developments, but worries that the country is “slowly setting back the UK and United States” due to the failure to create rules for those “in the crypto industry, especially those in financial services.

Hennessy believes that while token mapping is vital, it shouldn’t be regulators’ top priority.

“That should be secondary to creating tax rules and regulations about what licenses we can give to our companies that really need to hear it so they can compete with our global competitors.”

He fears Australia is falling into the trap of ‘thinking a little government attention will solve the problems’, which he thinks the symbolic mapping exercise ‘is to some extent considered as”.

Schebesta said he spoke at a Senate hearing in 2021 where he pointed out that “Australia would have a huge influx of new businesses […] because it is a safe, stable and regulatory place to develop their business”, adding that “tens of thousands” of jobs would be created “in the next two to three years”.

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