"This Is Not A Fad", Finance Minister Jane Hume Warns Australia Risks Missing Out On Crypto

Australia’s Financial Services Minister, Jane Hume has differed with the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) conformist stance on cryptocurrencies, warning that they are real and Australia stands to miss out if it continues to brush them aside.

Crypto Not A FAD

Speaking on Monday at The Australian Financial Review’s 2021 Super & Wealth Summit, Hume Hit back at the RBA after it warned Aussie investors against putting their finances into cryptocurrencies labeling the asset class a “FAD” last week.

“As an industry, and as a government, we need to acknowledge this is not a fad. We should tread cautiously, but not fearfully,” she said.

Hume who chairs the financial services and the Digital economy in the Australian senate further noted that it was upon the Australian Central Bank to accommodate new technologies. According to her, fighting innovation to maintain the status quo would only end badly.

“There are some areas of financial services where we can’t learn from past experiences, and we have to forge our own trail,” said the senator.

Regulators Not Budged, Australians Soldier On

Australia’s regulators have however remained slow in adopting cryptocurrency regulations since no law defines crypto as a security. ASIC has thus been left with the limited option of cherry-picking laws in enforcing rules in the industry.

Despite RBA’s tough stance on crypto, Australia has been making notable strides towards the adoption of cryptocurrencies. Earlier in the month, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) approved a range of Ethereum and Bitcoin ETFs.

Two weeks ago, the largest bank in Australia, the CBA debuted a program that will see its clients gain exposure to various cryptocurrency assets for investment purposes with Gemini’s help.

According to a recent senate committee report, 17% of Australians were found to have invested in cryptocurrency pointing further at the importance of this sector. “This is an asset class that has captured hearts and minds, but beyond that, it’s a technology that’s not going away any time soon,” Hume added. 

In the recent past, Decentralised Finance (Defi) has been emerging to be a force to reckon, with over $250 Billion in total value (TVL) on various platforms according to Defi Llama. 

Hume further asserts that “Australia mustn’t be left behind by fear of the unknown,” and that the adoption of DeFi underpinned by blockchain technology will present incredible opportunities.

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