The Senate Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Center (ATFC) has submitted a final 12 far-reaching recommendations for the regulation of the digital asset and fintech industry.
In its final report, the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology recommended changes to taxation laws, licensing, and regulatory regimes to encourage the establishment of digital and crypto-asset businesses in Australia.
The committee made 12 recommendations which include new regimes for market licensing for digital currency exchanges (DCEs), custodial and depository services, and changes to anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing guidelines including tax discounts for crypto miners to use renewable energy.
It further proposes new laws to govern decentralized autonomous organizations (DAO), an overhaul of capital gains tax in decentralized finance (DeFi).
Sen. Andrew Bragg, who chairs the committee, said Australia needs to be competitive with Singapore, the U.K., and the U.S. in its approach to crypto and blockchain technology.
“Australia can be a leader in digital assets. This means Australians can access new choices and lower prices. It means Australians can have more control of their financial destiny rather than being dependent on endless intermediation.”
“It means Australians can have more control of their financial destiny rather than being dependent on endless intermediation,” he added.
In the meantime, the Australian Taxation Office has noted a “dramatic increase in trading” since early 2020 during the pandemic, per the report, sending prices of some cryptocurrencies to record levels.
According to a recent survey from Finder’s 17% of Australians currently own some form of cryptocurrency, making the country the third-highest rate of crypto adoption in the world. However, estimates of the size of the overall Australian digital assets market vary widely. A sixth of Australians owned cryptocurrency in 2021 worth $6 billion, with bitcoin the most popular.