(Bloomberg) -- Australia’s cryptocurrency industry needs a robust policy and regulatory framework if the country wants to compete with other global financial hubs that are targeting one of the fastest growing areas of finance, according to the parliamentary committee that’s reviewing the use of digital assets. 

Such a framework is needed to protect consumers, promote investment, facilitate enhanced market competition and provide a structure where innovation can thrive, the Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre said in a draft report on Wednesday. 

The committee’s recommendations are “a big push to detail a cryptocurrency framework for Australia, which would allow us to compete with the U.K. and Singapore,” Andrew Bragg, a senator from the conservative Liberal Party and chair of the committee, said in an interview. He also hopes they will “break the back” of de-banking, which refers to the practice of lenders closing the accounts of clients perceived to be high risk.

This “is killing too many small Australian businesses -- and we simply can’t afford that to happen,” he said.

Bragg said he wants the governing coalition to adopt the recommendations as policy in the coming months, so that they could be legislated after the federal election that’s expected to be held early next year.

Recommendations in the draft report:

  • Establishing a market licensing regime for Digital Currency Exchanges, including capital adequacy, auditing and responsible person tests under the Treasury portfolio
  • Establishing a custody or depository regime for digital assets with minimum standards under the Treasury portfolio
  • Conducting a token mapping exercise to determine the best way to characterize the various types of digital asset tokens in Australia

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