The Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association (ADCCA) has joined forces with Deloitte and others to create a “code of conduct” for cryptocurrency operators. The code, which ADCCA bills as a role model for engagement between regulators and the industry, is being developed with consumer protection in mind.

Nicholas Giurietto, CEO of the ADCCA, says:

“Because we know that the pace of change in technology and business models can often outrun the ability of both regulators and organisations to keep up, key players in the industry have come together to voluntarily create the Digital Currency Industry Code of Conduct.”

High time for action

Australia has seen teething problems for crypto-based business in recent times as lawmakers attempt to adjust legislation to suit the ever-changing environment. Bitcoin users have been faced with double taxation of funds, leading some operators to leave the market altogether.

The ADCCA-Deloitte partnership was first announced in July 2015, with the Code of Conduct described as a direct response to an Australian Senate recommendation handed down in August of that year. According to Giurietto, the Code will enable Australian consumers to easily identify digital currency businesses that have best practice standards for consumer protection in place.

Businesses will be vetted by independent assessors, to whom they must prove that they meet the rigorous standards for certification. The release gave no further detail on what these standards would be, but they are likely related to KYC and AML regulations which the Senate recently stated would now apply to digital currency operators.

“It is all about making digital money safe,” says Richard Miller, Deloitte advisory partner and head of payments practice in Australia. “Our collective aim is to develop standards of consumer protection that hold participants to account and to a very high standard of conduct.”

Australia plays catch-up

Australia is among the countries actively seeking a reduction in cash usage among consumers. Several of its CitiBank branches are going cash-free, while other institutions have called for a withdrawal of higher value AUD notes and even a cash-free economy as early as 2022.

Nonetheless, regulatory strangleholds of the past have left Australian innovators with a headache. ADCCA spokespeople are now confident that this can be relieved in the new partnership.

“The self-regulatory model provides a platform for the growth of this innovative sector that will ensure Australian business do not miss out and will allow the nation to fully participate in the emerging global transformation that Blockchain technology will bring about,” Giurietto concluded.