Australian crypto-entrepreneur and investor Fred Schebesta has described the Australian government’s preference for token mapping as “awesome”, but warns that rushing it could have damaging effects on the economy.
Schebest’s comments come after Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers issued a claim on August 22, stating that “the Ministry of Finance will prioritize token mapping work” in 2022 to show how “crypto-assets and related services should be regulated”.
In an interview with Cointelegraph, Schebesta believes that Australia already has a “nascent” crypto industry, but it needs to “align with other major markets and their regulations.”
Schebesta added that the “complexities” of token mapping are not clear and “things are also changing.”
Schebesta is an Australian entrepreneur and investor – best known as the co-founder of Finder, an Australian comparison site. Schebesta is also the co-founder of crypto investment fund Hive Empire Capital and an advisor to Balthazar, an NFT gaming platform.
He explained that if “we rush” – the token mapping exercise could turn crypto companies away, especially if there is a “very different approach” to other countries.
Schebesta stressed that it’s not time to “rush it,” but to take the time to “just take it in stride and really, really do some deeper analysis.”
New Australian Labor Government Token Mapping Announcement came three months after he came to powerbreaking a long silence on how she would approach crypto regulation in the country.
At the time, Treasurer Chalmers said the government wanted to reign in a “largely unregulated” crypto sector.
“Currently, the crypto sector is largely unregulated and we need to do some work to strike the right balance to embrace new and innovative technologies,” he said.
While many in the industry hailed the announcement as an “important step” for the industry, some were disappointed that the country was not “further” on the road to regulatory certainty.
Australian lawyer Liam Hennessy, a partner at Gadens, told Cointelegraph that Australia is “at the forefront of cryptocurrency development” but fears the country is “slowly falling behind the UK and the US” due to inability to make rules for those “in the crypto industry, especially in financial services.”
Hennessy believes that while token mapping is vital, it should not be the primary focus of regulators.
“It should be secondary to creating certain tax rules and licensing regulations that we can provide to our businesses that really need to hear it to compete with our global competitors.”
He fears Australia is falling into the trap of “thinking that a bit of government attention will solve the problems”, which he says the token mapping exercise is “perceived to some extent”.
Speaking at a Senate hearing in 2021, Schebesta said he stressed that “Australia will have a huge influx of new businesses. […] because it is safe, stable and a great regulatory place to build their business” stating that “tens of thousands” of jobs will be created in the next two to three years.