On 1 September 2020, Australia’s ‘enhanced regulatory sandbox’ (‘ERS’) finally became operational. The ERS replaced the previous FinTech sandbox established and operated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (‘ASIC’), which had existed since 2016 but attracted only seven participants. This research analyses how and why Australia’s sandbox framework – with its unique non-authorisation model of operation – has evolved until now and evaluates whether the new enhanced sandbox regime can help to achieve its stated objectives. This article shows that the current sandbox reform merely scrapes the surface of the many challenges underlying ASIC’s FinTech sandbox and argues that these challenges can only be adequately resolved by revising the chosen sandbox model and switching to an authorisation-based sandbox design.
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