Coinbase Calls For Flexible Approach to Regulation in Australia

‘Given the constantly evolving nature of digital assets and blockchain technology, a fit-for-purpose regulatory regime must focus on outcomes,’ Coinbase said


Source: Shutterstock / Francesca Pianzola, modified by Blockworks


Digital asset exchange Coinbase has responded to the Australian Treasury’s “token mapping” exercise, expressing its support for the development of the country’s regulatory framework.

Australia’s token mapping, in what is said to be a “world first,” will seek to define various digital assets and bring them under the purview of appropriate regulators across the country. While the exercise had been planned for sometime this year, the launch is expected sometime next year.

Coinbase said in a consultation paper on Tuesday, it believes that a well-rounded framework should focus on outcomes as opposed to specific rules. Those rules should achieve a balance across a variety of regulatory objectives, it said.

“Given the constantly evolving nature of digital assets and blockchain technology, a fit-for-purpose regulatory regime must focus on outcomes,” the exchange said.

Coinbase’s involvement in the project follows more than a year after the exchange expanded its services to Australian retail investors via its domestically-registered business, Coinbase Australia Pty Ltd. 

While the exchange had offered the sale of digital assets to individuals as early as 2016, buying and selling crypto through a local arm was done via its main platform in the US.

The objectives, as alluded to in the paper, entail preserving financial stability, market integrity and consumer protections while fostering “responsible” innovation and growth.

Coinbase also highlights the importance of blockchain technology generally, including its potential to enhance efficiency, transparency and resiliency to the financial system by cutting down on middlemen. That in turn would cut costs, improve the user experience and increase competition, it said.

The exchange also takes particular note of fiat-backed stablecoins, while highlighting the benefits decentralized finance (DeFi) can bring to the table by exponentially expanding opportunities for financial players.

“Regulators have historically overseen financial markets by imposing and enforcing rules on market intermediaries,” Coinbase said. “No such intermediaries exist in the DeFi ecosystem.”

It comes as Coinbase has been sparring with the US SEC regulator for allegedly violating securities laws and selling unregistered products to retail and institutional investors.

The agency issued the exchange a Wells notice — a type of forerunner to formal action — notifying Coinbase of its intentions to probe its $2.5 billion business model. Coinbase said it would fight the SEC in court over the matter in a bid to clear itself of any wrongdoing.

Don’t miss the next big story – join our free daily newsletter.


Upcoming Events

Hilton Metropole | 225 Edgware Rd, London

Mon - Wed, March 18 - 20, 2024

Crypto’s premier institutional conference returns to London in March 2024. The DAS: London Experience: Attend expert-led panel discussions and fireside chats Hear the latest developments regarding the crypto and digital asset regulatory environment directly from policymakers and experts.

Salt Lake City, UT

WED - FRI, OCTOBER 9 - 11, 2024

Pack your bags, anon — we’re heading west! Join us in the beautiful Salt Lake City for the third installment of Permissionless. Come for the alpha, stay for the fresh air. Permissionless III promises unforgettable panels, killer networking opportunities, and mountains […]

recent research

Research report - cover graphics (1).jpg


In this report, we dive into crypto private market data to gather insights on where the future of the industry is headed. Despite a notable downturn in private raises, capital continues to infuse promising projects that aim to transform payments, banking, consumer experiences, community, and more, with 2023 being the fourth-largest year for crypto venture capital.


The stock price jump comes after Coinbase reported ending its seven-quarter run of net losses during the fourth quarter


BUZZ holds shares of Coinbase, Robinhood and MicroStrategy


Opinion: Even though I didn’t pay for my “Diamond Hands” burger with BTC, don’t let that fool you into thinking that crypto’s development is futile


The results mark “a major positive inflection point,” one analyst says, as the exchange carries net income momentum into a crypto rally


While the slate of 10 US spot bitcoin funds have tallied $4.6 billion of net inflows thus far, half of the field is lagging the leaders


Trading volumes totalled $154 billion in Q4, including $125 billion in institutional volume