What does ASIC know about crypto? Not much.
The rise and rise of cryptocurrency in Australia appears to be beyond the resources of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to develop a precise picture of who is investing and how much.
The regulator has admitted to a Parliamentary Committee that while it is looking at cryptocurrency developments, its ability to do so is limited.
The regulator admitted in answers provided to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services that it was difficult to get a sense of the true nature and scale of the Australian crypto market and that it was reliant on publicly available information.
It said that it was working to “identify and monitor the nature, size, and scale of the crypto-asset market activity in Australia, as relevant to ASIC’s regulatory remit” but then noted that “There is no scheduled end date to this work at this stage due to the evolving nature of this area”.
“There are no specific public reports envisaged as part of this work. However, ASIC will consider what statements it can make publicly with respect to crypto-asset market activity on an ongoing basis.
The work completed to-date has identified that:
- it is difficult to get a sense of the true nature and scale of the Australian crypto-asset market activity with existing available information;
- to get a sense of what exposure Australians have to crypto-assets we would require direct information from entities that are generally based overseas and outside of ASIC’s jurisdiction, which is resource-intensive to obtain; and
- publicly available information from consumer survey results (commissioned by various industry participants) provide an indication of how Australian consumers are engaging with the crypto-asset industry.”