Binance Australia Derivatives starts closing certain positions and accounts

Users of the Binance Australia Derivatives product have reported receiving unexpected notices on February 23 from the digital asset platform, which said that the company has begun closing some derivatives contracts and accounts.

Individuals who did not match the qualifications to be a “wholesale investor” were informed that all of their positions would be closed, and they would no longer be allowed to use the Binance Australia Derivatives Platform, according to screenshots that were uploaded on Twitter by a variety of users.

Users have been advised that in order to continue utilizing Binance Australia’s derivatives platform, they are need to provide the requisite proof to demonstrate that they satisfy the criteria for the role of “wholesale investor.”

The letter went on to explain that Binance Australia Derivatives is working on a remediation and compensation plan for customers to whom the company owes any refunds as a result of the change.


It was then said that the steps that followed were in accordance with the local legislation in Australia, and as a result, the users were informed quickly, and the accounts that were impacted were closed.

The company officially goes by the name Oztures Trade Pty Ltd, however its trading name is Binance Australia Derivatives. The local Australia office of Binance is a corporate approved agent for Oztures. This is the connection between the two companies.

It is made abundantly clear that derivatives items are only made available for wholesale customers located in Australia in the official overview that was issued in July of 2022.

Despite this, customers commented to Binance’s article on Twitter, with one user from Australia stating that they were unable to stake their cryptocurrency owing to complications in their location. Another user said that flexible earn was no longer accessible in Australia, which prompted the Binance support staff to react by saying that they will investigate the situation.

As part of its “multi-stage” strategy to combat frauds, Australia strengthened its watchdogs for the cryptocurrency field earlier in the month of February.


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Australia Opens Public Consultation on National Taxonomy of Crypto Assets

In response to the ongoing regulatory arms race taking place throughout the world, Australia has initiated a public consultation over the classification of its own cryptocurrency assets. The national authorities want to differentiate between four primary categories of items that are connected to the cryptocurrency business.

The Australian Treasury issued a consultation document on “token mapping” on February 3, claiming that it would serve as a fundamental step in the government’s multistage reform strategy to regulate the market. This announcement was made. It is intended to contribute to “a fact-based, consumer mindful, and innovation-friendly” approach to the formulation of public policy.

In this study, some fundamental definitions for cryptographic concepts are proposed using a methodology that is both “functional” and technology-neutral.

At the most fundamental level, it provides an explanation of the fundamental ideas behind cryptographic networks, cryptographic tokens, and smart contracts. A decentralised computer network that is capable of hosting crypto tokens is what the Treasury envisions when it talks about what a crypto network is. The storing of information and the processing of user commands are its two fundamental functions. According to the research study, Bitcoin and Ethereum are the two public crypto networks that have the largest name recognition.

A unit of digital information that may be “exclusively utilised or controlled” by a person who does not administrate the host hardware where the token is recorded is referred to as a crypto token. This is the definition of a crypto token. According to the research report, one of the most important characteristics that set crypto tokens apart from other types of digital records is the ability to exercise “exclusive use and control.”

A computer code that is submitted to the database of a crypto network is what constitutes a smart contract. It entails intermediaries or agents executing tasks under promises or other arrangements or processes being carried out by cryptographic networks without the need of intermediaries or agents, as well as without the use of promises.

Using these straightforward concepts as a foundation, the study presents its taxonomy of four distinct categories of crypto-related products:

Although the study does not present any legislative efforts and rather suggests to begin the conversation on this taxonomy, the authors of the article predict that a significant section of the crypto ecosystem will be able to comply with current regulations with only minor modifications. It is the parts of the ecosystem whose services are being assured by public, self-service software that may need the development of a whole new regulatory framework.

The Treasury Department will keep an open mind and listen for input until March 3. Midway through the year 2023, a similar report will be published on the potential licencing and custody framework for cryptocurrencies. This will be the next key stage in the ongoing process of a national regulatory debate.

The consultation document that His Majesty’s Treasury of the United Kingdom had prepared for the crypto regulation was also released on February 1. In it, the financial authority stressed the lack of requirement in the separate law, given that the current Financial Services and Markets Act is capable of covering digital assets. This is due to the fact that the Financial Services and Markets Act was amended in 2013.


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Australia’s Government is Bolstering Its Market Regulator’s Digital Asset

As part of its “multi-stage strategy” to cracking down on cryptocurrencies and ensuring that crypto companies provide accurate risk disclosures, the Australian government is increasing the size of the digital asset team that works under its market regulator.

The new restrictions are intended to safeguard consumers who are dealing with bitcoin, as described in a joint statement released on February 2 by the Assistant Treasurer of Australia, Stephen Jones, and the Australian Treasurer, Jim Chalmers.

The treasurers said that the multi-stage strategy would entail three components, these components being the strengthening of enforcement, the strengthening of consumer protection, and the establishment of a framework for its token mapping reform.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has announced that they would be “upping enforcement efforts” as well as increasing the number of their digital assets division. This is one of the most significant adjustments.

According to Chalmers and Jones, the ASIC would have a primary emphasis on ensuring that customers are adequately informed of the potential hazards posed to them by crypto product and service providers.

In the meanwhile, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), the country’s competition watchdog, will soon be receiving new tools from the government to assist it in protecting consumers against frauds using cryptocurrencies. The total amount of money lost to scams using cryptocurrency payments was recorded to be $221 million in 2022.

The ACCC will use the new technology, which will be in the form of a real-time data-sharing platform, to detect and prevent frauds using cryptocurrencies.

When a framework is finalised to regulate the licencing and custody of digital assets, consumer protection will also be strengthened. This will “ensure consumers are protected from avoidable business failures or from the misuse of their assets by service providers,” according to the official description of the goal of the framework.

However, the implementation of this framework won’t begin until the middle of 2023, and it’s likely going to take a significant amount of time until it’s codified into law.


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Australia Breaks Into Top 3 Nations for Crypto ATM

In spite of the bear market and the record-low dynamics of new Bitcoin ATM installations throughout the globe, Australia has broken into the top three countries internationally in terms of the number of cryptocurrency ATMs.

It wasn’t until the first few days of January that the Australians moved up to the fourth slot; since then, they’ve added another 16 computers to their network. According to the data provided by Coinatmradar, Australia now has 234 crypto ATMs, which places her in third place internationally behind the United States and Canada in terms of the number of available machines.

In three weeks it outpaced Spain, which possessed 222 crypto ATMs.

It’s all about dynamics: Australia installed 99 cryptocurrency ATMs in only the final three months of 2022, which is over half of the country’s entire number of machines.

Since the beginning of the year, Australia has added 16 new ATMs, while Spain has actually lost 4, and El Salvador, which occupies the fifth rank globally, has not registered a single new ATM. Australia leads the world in this category.

In general, the number of cryptocurrency ATMs in Australia, Spain, and El Salvador combined could not come close to matching the large number of ATMs in the United States. The United States of America is home to 33,387 machines, which accounts for 86.9% of all machines in the world.

Together with Canada (2.556) at the time of writing, they possess a remarkable 94.4% of all the crypto ATMs.

A bear market that lasted all of 2022, coupled with heightened geopolitical tensions and inflation on a global scale, led to a significant reduction in the number of cryptocurrency ATMs being installed.

Comparatively, only 94 Bitcoin ATMs were added to the global network between July and the end of 2022. This is in contrast to the 4,169 Bitcoin ATMs that were present during the first half of 2022.

The first Bitcoin ATM with integrated Lightning Network capabilities was installed in the city of Coolangatta, which is located in Australia, in the month of January 2023.

It functions in a manner that is analogous to that of conventional cryptocurrency ATMs, but the layer-2 Lightning solution allows for significant time savings.


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Australian crypto executives urge caution on regulation

Following recent remarks made by Australia’s assistant treasurer on the subject, cryptocurrency executives in Australia have cautioned against grouping all digital assets into the same category as financial goods. They say this is particularly important in light of recent regulatory developments.

In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that was published on January 22, 2018, Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services Stephen Jones provided an outline of the current position of cryptocurrency legislation in the nation.

According to the executive of a cryptocurrency exchange, he confirmed that the government was on track with its “token mapping” exercise that it was conducting this year to determine which crypto assets should be regulated. He also stated that a consultation process “to start soon” with the industry was planned. Jones, on the other hand, said that he was “not that drawn” to the idea of establishing a whole new set of laws for something that, in his opinion, functions primarily as a financial product. “I don’t want to make any assumptions about the results of the process of gathering feedback that we are going to undertake.

But I begin from the premise that if something walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck, then it ought to be dealt with as if it were a duck “Jones remarked.

“Other currencies and tokens are basically being utilised as a kind of value storage in order to engage in financial speculation and investing. There is a compelling case to be made for treating them in the same manner as a financial instrument.”

According to the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH), the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Commonwealth Bank, one of Australia’s “Big 4” banks, are both in favour of regulating cryptocurrencies as financial products. ASIC is Australia’s financial regulator. Commonwealth Bank is one of Australia’s four largest banks. However, players in the cryptocurrency sector have cautioned against taking a blanket approach to cryptocurrencies and their assets.

“The trick is to protect consumers without regulating away well-run domestic digital asset businesses and forcing people to use offshore exchanges subject to less rigorous checks and balances,” closing. “The phrase “the trick is to protect consumers without regulating away well-run domestic digital asset businesses” closes the loop. In the meanwhile, the Chief Executive Officer of a company that provides cryptocurrency on-ramps, named Holger Arians, expressed worry that excessive regulation might “seriously harm” the pioneering role that Australia has been playing in the cryptocurrency industry.

An “overly prescriptive approach” to regulation is something that should be avoided, according to Caroline Bowler, CEO of the Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTCMarkets. Because of this, our digital economy may fall behind in the future, which would suffocate our ability to compete internationally.

In light of the FTX catastrophe in November, Australian lawmakers and their worldwide colleagues have sensed a greater urgency for action. However, the Australian financial authorities have not yet publicly formulated their regulatory framework.

According to Jones, the failure of FTX “puts beyond question” the need for cryptocurrency regulation.

Fred Schebesta, an Australian entrepreneur and investor in the cryptocurrency space, issued a warning in September that accelerating the process of mapping tokens might be harmful for the business.

The complexities of token mapping are not entirely understood, and it is essential for Australia’s “nascent” cryptocurrency economy to “align with the other main markets and their legislation,” as he explained further.

The cryptocurrency advocacy organisation Blockchain Australia shared this sentiment, claiming at the time that if all crypto assets were considered as financial products, it would be detrimental to the investment and innovation of the cryptocurrency sector and lead to the loss of employment associated to the business.


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Market Downturn Triggers Delisting of Crypto ETFs in Australia

Cosmos Asset Management, a crypto fund manager based in Australia, has announced its intention to delist three of its cryptocurrency exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that trade on the Cboe stock exchange in Australia.

The North Sydney-based investment firm said on Wednesday it plans to delist the Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF, Cosmos Purpose Ethereum Access ETF, and Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF.

Cosmos management teams said they have applied to shut down the quotations of the three crypto ETFs on the exchange run by Cboe Australia.

Cosmos Asset Management was one of the firms that raced to unveil their first crypto ETFs in Australia earlier this year. However, the poor performance of these funds is evident, triggered by the onset of crypto winter that saw a significant decline in investors’ demand and a massive plunge of digital assets by as much as $2 trillion over roughly the past 12 months.

As per the company’s September disclosure, the Cosmos Purpose Bitcoin Access ETF had around $850,000 in assets under management, the Cosmos Purpose Ethereum Access ETF had about $232,000 and the Cosmos Global Digital Miners Access ETF had about $632,000.

In a statement on Wednesday, Dan Annan, Chief Executive at Cosmos, talked about the development: “While we strongly believe in the asset class, we are all disappointed with this result, however, we will continue to follow the process in the best interest of all unit holders.”

The funds kicked off with low volumes when they started their trading in May this year. The onset of the crypto winter in the ensuing months is identified to have damped investors’ appetite further.

Cosmos’ move follows an announcement by Digital asset fund manager Valkyrie Funds to close and delist its Valkyrie Balance Sheet Opportunities ETF (VBB), which offers exposure to Bitcoin.

Last month, Valkyrie liquidated the fund and subsequently delisted it from the Nasdaq Exchange. Blockchain.News reported the matter on October 12.

Valkyrie discontinued the investment vehicle due to the poor trading performance of the fund, terming the move as the best course of action for all involved.

Despite hitting its peak when launched in December last year, VBB stock tumbled with the crashing prices of crypto assets. VBB stock was down more than 54% this year, while Bitcoin price has dropped about 58%.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Coinbase Introduces PayID and Premium Services for Aussie Retail Customers

Coinbase announced expanding its services in Australia to make accessing the crypto economy easier and safer, introducing three services to their Aussie clients.


The digital currency exchange, which first entered the Australian market in 2016, said it would be introducing a PayID feature to its Australian users. 

The announcement was disclosed in a published blog post, “First, we are introducing PayID as a way for Australians to top up their Coinbase accounts using direct Australian Dollar transfers.” Said Coinbase in the announcement.”

PayID is a payment feature developed by the Australian financial services sector and the Reserve Bank of Australia, which permits individuals to link a mobile number or an email address to a bank account to receive payments.

Additionally, Coinbase also stated it would be releasing a Retail Advanced Trading feature. A tool that will allow Australian customers to access low, volume-based pricing and powerful trading tools with one harmonious balance. The firm also added that it would provide 24/7 chat support to customers in Australia.

Speaking about how Australians were some of the world’s earliest adopters of digital currencies and that they are savvy investors. The firm further called Australia a “hotbed of fintech innovation.” And it’s looking to elevate Australians’ experience using Coinbase.

Vice President of International and Business Development Nana Murugesan commented on the latest products in Australia. The post reads:

“Aussies were some of the world’s earliest adopters of digital currencies, and they are savvy investors. We know this because Coinbase was one of the first platforms Australians trusted with their crypto investments. Now, we want to elevate their experience using Coinbase. What’s more, Australia is a hotbed of fintech innovation – we looked hard across this space to better understand the market, and recently hired John O’Loghlen (Australia Country Director) to lead our local team.”

Furthermore, to push its Australian affair, Coinbase stated it has incorporated a local entity (Coinbase Australia Pty Ltd) and has obtained registration and enrolment with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) to provide digital currency exchange services.

Coinbase has now collaborated with the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology on research about Web3 and the future of finance in Australia. The crypto exchange firm was also recently welcomed as a member of Blockchain Australia, the country’s peak industry network for businesses implementing or evaluating blockchain technology.

Notably, last month, Coinbase announced its official registration as a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) with the Dutch Central Bank (De Nederlandsche Bank — DNB). According to Coinbase, the license will enable it to offer its full suite of crypto products that will make it serve both its retail and institutional clients in the country.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Australian CBDC Pilot Test to Commence Next Year – RBA

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has published a Whitepaper to give additional insights into its proposed Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), dubbed the eAUD. 


In its concerted efforts to explore all possible use case scenarios concerning the creation of the eAUD, the RBA partnered with the Digital Finance Cooperative Research Centre (DFCRC) to develop systems jointly to test the capabilities of the new legal tender. The duo set out to conduct the trials, and per the recently published Whitepaper, the pilot tests are scheduled to commence next year.

Billed as one of the most advanced economies exploring the launch of a CBDC, Australia, through the RBA, will seek to understand how the system will work in all environments that features key stakeholders in the country’s financial ecosystem.

“The key objectives of the project are to identify and understand innovative business models, use cases, benefits, risks, and operational models for a CBDC in Australia,” the Whitepaper reads.

Besides the RBA and the DFCRC, each entity conducting the trials has its own defined contributions to the broader project. While the RBA will be in charge of issuing the eAUD, the DFCRC will be tasked with designing the interface for the currency and an outfit through which every participant will interact.

In the course of the test, the RBA will onboard private banking partners and other stakeholders that can help in issuing the eAUD to public members as it seeks to expand the scope of the trials. 

According to the Whitepaper, the comprehensive pilot test will run from January to April next year, and prospective participants have until October 31 to show their expressions to be a part. The pilot platform will be shut down by the end of April, and the RBA will oversee the publications of the findings by mid-2023.

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1 Million Aussies to Enter Crypto Over the Next 12 Months, Says Swyftx Survey

Australian crypto exchange Swyftx on Monday released a new study survey showing that about one million Australians will buy cryptocurrencies for the first time in the next 12 months. 

The new survey questioned 2,609 Australians over 18 years of age in early July, with 548 participants of the survey sample identified as current crypto holders.

The research revealed that despite the current “crypto winter”, Australian crypto ownership has grown 4% year-on-year (YoY), reaching 21% this year. This figure is set to increase by another one million new crypto owners in 2023, according to the survey.

The result might bring total crypto ownership in the country to over five million.

While at least one-quarter of Australians are planning to purchase crypto over the next 12 months, the study revealed that Millenials, Gen Zers, Aussie parents, and those in full-time work are most likely to buy the digital assets.

Swyftx’s Head of Strategic Partnerships, Tommy Honan, commented about the development: “On the basis of current growth trajectories in the use of digital assets, we expect half of the adults under 50 in Australia to own or have owned crypto within the next one to two years.”

Honan, however, said the adoption rate might slow over the next 12 months before recovering again as market conditions improve.

The survey revealed that while the bear market knocked down users’ confidence, it identified that lack of sound regulation, overall market volatility, and lack of knowledge about how crypto works as the biggest factors that discourage users towards investing in crypto, especially those who have not yet done so.

Swyftx co-CEO Ryan Parsons said the report indicates that there is clear demand among Australians to buy and use crypto. Still, user hesitancy is due to issues associated with regulation. The comment is reinforced by the former head of risk at Credit Suisse, CK Zheng, who believes that the next crypto bull run will be a result of “regulatory clarity” in the US.

Local Regulators Taking Note

The use of crypto and non-cash payments exploded in Australia during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumers’ lives shifted online. According to government data, as of December 2021, the number of Australians transacting in crypto surged 63% during that year compared with the previous year. Australians are identified to be among the most enthusiastic adopters of crypto, with about 20% owning some, compared to a global average of 11.4%.

With that rapid digital revolution taking place, the country’s regulation is struggling to keep pace and adapt to the crypto industry. The crypto sector is largely unregulated, and the government is currently trying to do some work to get the balance right towards embracing new and innovative technologies while safeguarding consumers.

This comes amid rising concerns from government regulators like the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) as to the number of scams involving cryptocurrency, as well as the influence of social media on the industry has been on the rise. Last month, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released reports warning about the scale and risk management related to crypto assets. 

Last month, the Australian Treasury announced a multi-step plan to establish a crypto regulatory framework that aims to be more thorough and better-informed than those previously established anywhere else in the globe.

The key to the government’s approach is to develop market research called “token mapping.” Token mapping will enable officials to view and evaluate trends in Australian crypto markets to best identify how the regulators should regulate crypto assets and related services.

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Australian Senators Andrew Bragg Draft New Bill on Digitial Assets

Australian Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has released a new draft of the titled Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2022, aimed at regulating on digital asset exchanges.

The Act aims to provide an effective regulatory framework for the Australian market and provides requirements for the introduction of digital asset exchanges, digital asset custody services, licenses for stablecoin issuers, and disclosure requirements for China’s central bank digital Yuan service providers.

In a Sept. 19 statement, Bragg said that “Australia must keep pace with the global digital asset regulation race” as “Parliament must push for legal reform.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has launched a year-long trial to explore business models and innovative use cases for central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).

Since CBDC represent the digital form of a country’s fiat currency, they are directly controlled by the country’s central bank and backed by national credit and government power.

The Liberal senator said that Australia, as a global economy, has a large modern exposure to the issue of CBDC stablecoins, which is why relevant laws need to be drafted to manage the corresponding risks and require relevant banks to fulfil additional requirements. Responsibilities to provide relevant reports on information that may help Australia use or obtain digital renminbi.

But Andrew Bragg stressed just “preparing and gathering information” and added that Australia would not benefit from having a CBDC because of “the inability to manage privacy concerns”,

In March, the government announced plans to introduce legislation seeking licensing and custody measures for the country’s growing digital asset industry. The government has also announced potential changes to taxing this emerging asset class.

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