First Peak Policy Institute And Think-Tank For Crypto Industry Convenes

MELBOURNE, Australia – 16 JUNE 2023

MELBOURNE, Australia – Australian Digital Financial Standards Advisory Council (ADFSAC) under the ADC Forum’s auspices.  ADFSAC, being the industry’s first peak policy institute and think-tank, will be instrumental in shaping the regulatory and policy landscape for crypto financial services in Australia. In partnership with other international organizations, the Council aims to ensure that Australian companies and government are better equipped to seize opportunities in the global digital economy.

ADFSAC seeks to promote accessible, inclusive, and secure digital asset financial services for Australians by bringing together business, government, and academia to address critical societal challenges. The Council’s objective is to drive the development of appropriate policies that promote innovation while providing guidance to regulators and policymakers on global standards and best practices in the crypto asset industry.  A diverse range of stakeholders, such as digital asset companies, financial institutions, technology providers, academics, and policymakers, will work together to develop policy proposals fostering the growth of the digital financial services industry in Australia.

Commenting on the establishment of the ADFSAC, ADC Founder, Michael Roux said, “We are delighted to launch the Australian Digital Financial Standards Advisory Council as part of the ADC Forum.  The Council’s multi-stakeholder approach will provide a collaborative and inclusive forum for the development of policy proposals and thought leadership.  This builds on the work previously done by ADC Forum in developing the “Adelaide Principles”, a set of global principles designed to guide the implementation and regulation of blockchain, distributed ledger technologies and digital assets.”

“Given the Australian government’s ongoing consultation of major reforms to the country’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML-CTF) laws by the Attorney General, the launch of the Council is particularly timely,” emphasised ADFSAC Chair Loretta Joseph, who is also the Co-Chair of the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA).  “It is now critical that we have such a ‘think-tank’ for Australia to ensure the continued development of a robust and responsible digital financial services industry, which is trusted by consumers, businesses, and regulators alike.  The establishment of the Council will help achieve this by providing a collaborative and inclusive peak forum for the development of policy proposals and thought leadership.

Interim Executive–Director Dr Jane Thomason commented, “The ADFSAC is a unique and timely initiative that brings together stakeholders from across the digital financial services ecosystem.  ADFSAC will play a crucial role in providing a unified voice for the industry and driving the development of appropriate policy settings on behalf of the crypto industry that is inclusive, secure, and accessible for all Australians, whilst ensuring, critically, that we are in step with the implementation of the G20’s proposed Harmonized Global Standards.”

Among the notable individuals joining the newly established Advisory Council are former South Australia Premier, The Hon. Stephen Marshall MP, former Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Executive–Secretary Rick McDonell, Stephen Roux, CEO, Dragon Tree Capital, Matt Faubel, Chair, Program Committee, ADC Forum, Professor Jonathan Hatch, University of Sydney, Paul Derham, Managing Partner, Holley Nethercote Financial Services Regulatory Lawyers and Dr Liming Zhu, Conjoint Professor, University of New South Wales.

ADFSAC’s launch follows a period of significant growth in the Australian crypto industry, which has seen a surge in adoption and investment in digital financial services.  As the Australian government approaches new regulations for the crypto industry, the ADFSAC is ready to work with regulators and policymakers to ensure that Australia’s market legislation is informed, balanced for business, and aligned with international regulatory standards.

ADFSAC has already made significant contributions to Australian policy development, with a submission to Australian Senate Legislative Committee on the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 and submission to the Attorney-General’s Public Consultation on Proposed Reforms to Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Regime ensuring compliance with FATF’s the crypto “Travel Rule”.  The submission emphasises the need for Australia to develop a comprehensive regulatory framework tailored to the digital asset sector’s unique characteristics based on a whole of government approach.

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