Just days after the UK announced the next stages of its plan to regulate Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Australia seems to have followed suit.

In a new announcement, Australia’s government has unveiled the first step of what is being called a “multi-stage plan” to regulate Bitcoin and crypto.

“The multi‑stage approach has three elements,” states the release. “Strengthening enforcement, bolstering consumer protection; and establishing a framework for reform.”

The first stage, strengthening enforcement, is already underway, as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) expands the size of its crypto team and buckles down on enforcement measures.

Consumer protection against volatility is a pressing topic today, as publications race to report new details behind the collapse of crypto heavyweights like FTX and CEO Sam Bankman-Fried.

“Unsustainable business models used by some companies dealing in crypto assets have left consumers exposed,” reads the document. “We are acting swiftly and methodically to ensure that consumers are adequately protected and true innovation can flourish.”

Australia has been vocal about its intentions to support the Bitcoin and crypto industry. Senator Andrew Bragg described “fresh urgency” around financial reform after Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, and Treasurer Jim Chalmers called the changes “the most significant reforms to [Australia’s] payments system in 25 years.”

Elsewhere, some major Australian chains have already started accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment.

Online, news of the announcement was largely well received.

“The Treasury Department of Australia's approval of Bitcoin reflects the currency's growing legitimacy as a means of exchange,” tweeted @Flagship.FYI. “The crypto industry is on the cusp of a historical era.”

“W,” wrote @Hashflow in a succinct tweet.

For the time being however, with Australia’s multi-stage plan still in an early phase, it remains to be seen how regulation will affect the country’s burgeoning Bitcoin and crypto industry.

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