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With the government revealing plans for a comprehensive revamp of payment system reforms that will also target digital currencies, Australia has joined the list of countries aiming to regulate the cryptocurrency business.
According to News Australia, the proposed legislation will primarily focus on crypto taxation, investor protection, and regulation of digital banks and exchanges.
“The government can’t guarantee your crypto any more than it can guarantee a painting or a share in a company, and nor should it. But we can make sure Australian exchanges, custodians and brokers work within a regulatory framework that is better, safer and more secure,” she said.
Australia’s desire to regulate cryptocurrency became public in 2021 after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stated that new rules would be announced. In accordance with the proposed regulations, the government will release three key documents aimed at reforming the payment sector.
One paper tries to gather feedback from key actors on licensing and custody of digital assets. One of the Treasury’s ideas was to force crypto exchanges to keep the assets of Australian investors onshore. In addition, the paper will expose the findings of two crypto-related investigations, as well as the terms of reference. Australia’s competition and financial agencies are looking into the matter.
Minimizing tax burden
In terms of taxation, the Board of Taxation (BoT) is anticipated to provide the government with a detailed report on the best policy framework for cryptocurrencies. Surprisingly, the government wants BoT to reduce the tax burden on the crypto sector while making recommendations.
Senator Andrew Bragg has been at the forefront of the country’s parliamentarians pushing for crypto legislation. Senator Bragg’s legislative report stated that Australia’s current legislation were unfit for purpose, and the government is anticipated to examine some of his proposals.
The research also recommended that the Australian government conduct a policy assessment to determine the viability of a retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the country. Bragg recently urged the government to consider hiring experts to draft crypto regulations in a separate agency.
In addition to the revisions, the Treasury is developing a crypto market license, as well as local custody requirements. The results are likely to be made public in May. Despite the lack of clarity in Australia’s crypto regulation, the country has established a reputation as a digital currency-friendly jurisdiction that hosts a number of associated enterprises.