‘Token mapping’ rush could hurt Australia’s crypto space, says Fred Schebesta

Australian crypto entrepreneur and investor Fred Schebesta has called the Australian government’s prioritization of token mapping “wonderful,” But he warns that rushing in could have detrimental effects on the economy.

Schebesta’s comments come after Australia’s Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, will publish a statement on Aug. 22 stating that the “treasury will prioritize token mapping work” in 2022 to show how “crypto assets and related services should be regulated.”

Speaking to Cointelegraph, Schebesta believes that Australia already has a “nascent” cryptocurrency industry, but needs to “align with the other major markets and their regulations.”

Schebesta added that the “ins and outs” of token mapping are unclear, and “things are changing too.”

Schebesta is an Australian businessman and investor, best known for being the co-founder of Finder, an Australian comparison website. Schebesta is also a co-founder of the cryptocurrency investment fund Hive Empire Capital and an advisor to Balthazar, an NFT gaming platform.

He explained that, if we “jumped in”, the token mapping exercise could drive crypto firms away, especially if there is a “very different approach” to that of other countries.

Schebesta stressed that this is not the time to “rush”, but to take the necessary time “to go easy and do a deeper analysis”.

Australia’s New Labor Government Token Mapping Announcement came three months after coming to powerbreaking a long silence on how he would approach cryptocurrency regulation in the country.

At that moment, Treasurer Chalmers said the government wanted to control the “largely unregulated” cryptocurrency sector.

“As it stands, the crypto industry is largely unregulated, and we need to work to get the balance right so we can embrace new and innovative technologies,” said.

Although many in the industry hailed the announcement as a “important step” for the industry, some were disappointed that the country is not “further along” on the road to regulatory certainty.

Australian lawyer Liam Hennessy, a partner at Gadens, told Cointelegraph that Australia has been at the “forefront of cryptocurrency developments” but worries the country is “slowly falling behind the UK and US” due to the lack of rule making for those “in the cryptocurrency industry, particularly those in financial services.”

Hennessy believes that while token mapping is vital, it should not be the primary focus for regulators.

“It should be secondary to actually creating some tax rules and regulations around licensing that we can give our companies that really need to hear it so they can compete with our global competitors.”

He fears that Australia is falling into the trap of “to think that a little attention from the government will solve the problems”, something he thinks the token mapping exercise is “to some degree, looking like”.

Schebesta said he spoke at a Senate hearing in 2021 where he highlighted that “Australia would have a huge influx of new businesses […] because it is a safe, stable place with a great regulation to build your business“, and added that “tens of thousands” of jobs would be created “in the next two or three years.”

Clarification: The information and/or opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views or editorial line of Cointelegraph. The information set forth herein should not be taken as financial advice or investment recommendation. All investment and commercial movement involve risks and it is the responsibility of each person to do their due research before making an investment decision.

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