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The Australian government is making moves to take Bitcoin “out from the shadows” by imposing new regulations on cryptocurrencies.

Speaking on Today, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg also confirmed the Commonwealth and Reserve Bank were working on the feasibility of launching a central bank digital currency in Australia.

“We want to take (cryptocurrencies) out from the shadows (and) bring it into a considered regulatory framework.”

Mr Frydenberg said the government wanted cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses to apply for financial licences to “give consumers a little bit more certainty and confidence about the parties that they’re dealing with.”

More than 800,000 Australians have owned cryptocurrency at least once, since the rise of digital currencies over the past decade.

Mr Frydenberg said also warned that buy now, pay later companies, such as Afterpay, would face increased scrutiny and regulatory measures in the future.

Better regulation would bring “appropriate transparency” around fees and ensure a level playing field for new entrants coming into the market, he said.

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