Cha-Ching...Bitcoin? The rise of FinTech and the policy implications of Cryptocurrencies on the Australian financial and regulatory landscape

Sonia attended the 2017 World Bank and IMF Forum. She is studying a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of New South Wales. 

Abstract

FinTech is rapidly transforming the financial sector. Public awareness of cryptocurrencies is increasing and in turn, the industry is poised for changes to the status quo (IMF, 2017). Whilst the Australian Government released a report ‘Backing Australian FinTech’ in June 2016, there is very limited legislation and regulation of the FinTech space. This has created a significant void in consumer protection and severely weakens the opportunity for Australian businesses to capitalise on this new digital financial era. The changes brought by FinTech are inevitable and Australian regulators can no longer ignore its widespread adoption and ramifications.

This paper will recommend policies to create a prosperous and positively impactful FinTech sector within the Australian community. It will explore the use and challenges associated with cryptocurrencies from a regulatory perspective. Opportunities to establish Australia as a regional hub that fosters FinTech innovation and defines the trajectory of this era will also be investigated.

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