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Fred Schebesta Says Rushing “Token Mapping” Could Hurt The Space

Australia cryptocurrency entrepreneur, Fred Schebesta, has stated that whilst the token mapping by the Australian government is “wonderful”, he warns it could lead to some detrimental effects on the space and wider economy. 


You can read about the government’s prioritising of this token mapping in our article here. 


Fred is the co-founder of Finder – Australia’s leading comparison website and a global fintech – which sees more than 10 million visits each month globally. At just 26 years of age, Fred entered the comparison market, one of the most highly competitive online categories in Australia, before expanding globally and revolutionising the comparison site into a fintech, diving deep into the crypto space.



His comments come after Australia’s Labor Government stated they will look to become the first nation to “token map” the cryptocurrency digital assets sector as the government seeks to provide greater protections for Australian consumers.


In a statement, the Australian treasury and its treasurer, Jim Chalmers, announced a multi-multi-step plan to establish a cryptocurrency and digital assets regulatory framework that it claims will be more thorough and better-informed than those previously established “anywhere else in the world.”


Speaking to Cointelegraph, Schebesta believes Australia already has a “fledgling” cryptocurrency industry and space but needs to “align with the other major markets and their regulations.”


Schebesta added that the “intricacies” of token mapping are not clear, and “things are changing as well.”


Schebesta, being the co-founder of Finder, is also a co-founder of cryptocurrency investment fund Hive Empire Capital and an advisor for Balthazar, a nonfungible token (NFT) gaming platform.


He explained that if “we rush”, the token mapping exercise could turn away cryptocurrency companies, particularly if there’s a “very different approach” to other countries.


Schebesta stressed that it’s not the time to “rush it out,” but take the time “to just take it easy and really, really do some deeper analysis.”


At the time of the announcement, treasurer Chalmers said the government wanted to reign in the “largely unregulated” cryptocurrency sector.


“As it stands, the crypto sector is largely unregulated, and we need to do some work to get the balance right so we can embrace new and innovative technologies,” he said. 



While many in the industry lauded the announcement as an “important step” for the industry, some were disappointed that there the country was not “further along” the path to regulatory certainty. 


Australian lawyer Liam Hennessy, a partner at Gadens, told Cointelegraph that Australia has been at the “forefront of the crypto developments,” but worries that the country is “slowly falling behind the U.K. and U.S.” due to it failure to create rules for those “in the crypto industry, in particular those in financial services.”


Hennessy believes that while token mapping is vital, it shouldn’t be the primary focus for regulators. 


“It should be secondary to actually creating some tax rules and regulations around licensing that we can give to our businesses that really need to hear it so they can compete with our global competitors.”


He fears that Australia is falling into the trap of “thinking that a little bit of attention from the government will solve the problems,” which he believes that the token mapping exercise “to some extent, is being viewed as.”


Schebesta said he spoke at a senate hearing in 2021 where he highlighted that “Australia would have a huge influx of new businesses […] because it’s a safe, stable, and great regulatory place to build their business,” adding that “tens of thousands” of jobs would be created “in the next two to three years.”

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