What A Labor Government Means For Crypto

Labor looks set to focus on "safety and transparency" in crypto — is this a good thing or a bad thing for crypto investors?

What A Labor Government Means For Crypto

With Albo being sworn in as Australia’s newest Prime Minister, Labor looks set to make a whole host of changes — let’s find out what this might mean for crypto investors.

On Saturday night, Australians everywhere watched on as Scott Morrison was handed a hefty defeat by Anthony Albanese, who was officially sworn in this morning (Monday the 23rd of May) as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

The new Labor government looks set to bring in a whole host of changes, with the government putting climate change and housing affordability firmly in its crosshairs. One thing that seems to be absent from the coverage of the recent events is, what does Albo’s win mean for Aussie crypto investors?

And with more than 28% of all Australians now owning some form of cryptocurrency, it’s a bloody worthwhile question. So, let’s break down Labor’s policy for cryptocurrency and make some predictions about what the crypto market might look like under a Labor government. 

A Lack of Policy?

The first thing that really jumps out is that Labor doesn’t actually seem to have anything too concrete when it comes to dealing with cryptocurrency moving forward. 

Speaking at The Australian Financial Review Cryptocurrency Summit, multi-millionaire and crypto investor Mark Carnegie said crypto “should be at the centre of the Australian election.”

Carnegie stressed that strong action on crypto needs to happen fast, as digital assets and the blockchain infrastructure that makes them tick, could be an $US8 trillion ($11.6 trillion AUD) to $US13 ($18.3 trillion AUD) industry by 2030.

“And the idea that the Labor Party does not have a policy about what we’re doing about this, it just shows you the failure of leadership,” said Carnegie.

The Labor Minister for financial services Stephen Jones, hit back at Carnegie’s claims saying that “The broad principles we would take to crypto regulation is safety and transparency.”

“That inevitably leads to greater regulation of exchanges.”

Jones added that Labor’s main concern with crypto was to make sure that Aussies “have confidence that the crypto products they are purchasing are what they say they are.” 

Jones also hinted that he is quite positive about the future of crypto in Australia, saying that he “expects business and increasingly business-at-large [to] accept cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange”.

What Happens To My Crypto?

All we can really glean from Labor so far, is that the new government will probably move to regulate crypto exchanges and really work to make sure that Aussie consumers and retail investors are more well-protected from the “Wild West” of digital asset markets.

According to Aaron Klein, a senior fellow in economic studies at the Brookings Institution, regulation is good for crypto, because “even if it doesn’t bring more people in, it may change people’s current behaviour.”

Klein said that while crypto enthusiasts claim that crypto is better than fiat money, those benefits will only arise “if an appropriate regulatory framework is put into place.”

Ultimately, from what we can tell at these very early stages of a new government, it seems pretty unlikely that Labor would do anything drastic, like banning crypto outright. The Labor government seems to have an even-handed approach to dealing with the industry, which could be a very good thing for current crypto investors moving forward.

The most plausible course of action is that Labor will add crypto to the “finance” umbrella in terms of legislation, which may lead to more widespread use of digital assets.

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