Australia would benefit from a “progressive framework of regulation”, according to the head of the nation’s largest digital asset exchange BTC Markets.
In an interview with Bloomberg Television, the CEO of BTC Markets, Caroline Bowler opined that Australia will be left behind in innovation if the country doesn’t take serious steps in regulating the crypto industry, saying it would be a “real shame for Australia if we don’t take this bull by the horns.”
While appreciating the European Union in terms of crypto regulatory approach, Bowler even appreciated Singapore’s example in terms of regulators embracing the crypto industry.
Comparing the EU’s stance on crypto regulatory oversight with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, she says that the current chairman Gary Gensler indicates that regulation can become overbearing.
Citing a market survey conducted by her own exchange platform, Bowler said that investors noted the lack of regulation in the Australian market and that financial advisors should be allowed to give recommendations on digital assets to the point of investors' benefit.
She concluded her interview by saying that regulation in the industry is always welcomed while pointing to the “certain sense of optimism” around an anticipated report due to be presented in October by the country’s parliamentary committee.
Australian regulation on cryptocurrency is still nascent. Currently, the Australian law does not treat cryptocurrency as a currency and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has no plans to release a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to retail customers.
While Cryptocurrencies have been legal in Australia since 2017, they are under the scope of Australia's anti-money laundering framework, which does mean crypto exchanges need to register with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
While the government has specified Bitcoin, in particular, to be treated as property, meaning it is subjected to the country’s capital gains tax, there is still confusion. For instance, cryptocurrencies held by consumers with a profit-making intention are taxed like any other capital gain while those used for business purposes are treated as trading stock.