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Coinbase executive praises crypto 'token-mapping' plan

An executive with US crypto giant Coinbase has flown into Australia for meetings with the Treasury in Canberra and Sydney as the agency mulls pending crypto regulations as part of a "token-mapping" exercise.

Tom Duff Gordon, Coinbase's London-based vice president of international policy, and John O'Loghlen, the exchange's Sydney-based Asia-Pacific managing director, told AAP their meetings this week had been healthy and productive.

"We got a positive reception for the various departments and offices and advisors in Canberra - really healthy conversations with the tech council on Blockchain Australia," Mr O'Loghlen said.

Mr Gordon said Coinbase appreciates "the type of open, transparent rule-making process that we're seeing here in Australia", in contrast to the "regulation by enforcement" actions that have taken place in the United States, where many in the industry see recent moves against crypto-friendly banks Signature and Silvergate as part of an attempt to de-bank crypto institutions.

The "token-mapping" exercise is the Albanese government's attempt to categorise various forms of crypto tokens and create a taxonomy for them so they can be regulated in a sensible way, Mr Gordon said.

Crypto-coins can include "utility" tokens that serve a purpose, "exchange" tokens issued by crypto exchanges, stablecoins that aim to be tied to a fiat currency, and memecoins such as Dogecoin.

"One thing I can say is that the token-mapping exercise that I've seen here is probably one of the most sophisticated and thoughtful explorations of a topic that I've seen kind of globally - and I've seen a lot of those processes because of my job," Mr Gordon said.

The duo met with a reporter on Thursday, coming from what they described as a meeting with representatives of one of the Big Four banks which is working on a stablecoin - a crypto token that's tied to the value of a fiat currency, such as the Australian dollar.

They didn't name the bank but that would describe both NAB and ANZ.

"When we have conversations with them, we're bringing the whole suit of Coinbase offerings to them as part of a discussion, and there's a really healthy appetite for them to learn," Mr O'Loghlen said of the talks with the bankers.