Coinbase clashed with Australian banking regulators over local crypto regulations
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and the Treasury have held private meetings with Coinbase executives, with discussions surrounding the future of crypto regulation in Australia.
In response to Cointelegraph’s request for comment, an RBA spokesperson confirmed recent reports that these private meetings had taken place, saying that Coinbase met with the RBA’s payments policy and financial stability departments this week, “as part of the bank’s ongoing engagement with the industry.”
Tom Duff Gordon, Coinbase’s vice president of international policy who was reported to have been flown in for the meetings, also confirmed to Cointelegraph that meetings took place with the Treasury in Canberra and Sydney.
Gordon said the meetings touched on the government’s token mapping efforts, and Coinbase “also shared insights on global best practices regarding licensing and custody.”
The Australian Treasury’s token mapping exercise was announced on 22 August 2022, and aims to categorize digital assets in a way that can work them into existing regulatory frameworks.
A consultation paper was released by the Treasury Department on February 3, on which the Treasury Department sought feedback from the crypto industry.
Gordon praised the efforts of the Department of Finance, noting that “Australia’s finance teams continue to impress us with their high level of sophistication and active engagement,” adding:
“The Australian Treasury’s token mapping exercise provides one of the most detailed and thoughtful papers we have come across on the subject, laying a strong foundation for their upcoming draft rules for crypto exchanges and managers.”
Gordon expressed his desire to see the rules “later this year”, adding that he appreciated “the Treasury’s extensive groundwork”.
In contrast, Coinbase’s co-founder and CEO Brian Armstrong has been critical of the approach to crypto regulation in the US, repeating accusations that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) “regulates by enforcement” and claiming that the SEC wants firms to register with them despite that it is not possible to register.
Related: National Australia Bank makes the first cross-border stablecoin transaction
Documents recently obtained by the Australian Financial Review under freedom of information laws suggested that crypto legislation in Australia could be drawn out after 2024 and beyond, as final submissions to Cabinet are not expected until late in the year.
Coinbase expanded to Australia on October 4, 2022, with Coinbase’s Vice President of International and Business Development – Nana Murugesan – telling Cointelegraph at the time that they were “very impressed with the open door that we have received in Canberra and with various decision makers.”