Bitcoin is changing in Australia. The Australian federal government is changing their stance on cryptocurrency. They want to avoid any double taxation situations by implementing AML/CTF regulations to cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency is considered barter, instead of a real currency in Australia. This has caused a heavily unbalanced tax situation for anyone dealing in cryptocurrencies. Really, the biggest change comes from the extension of the AML/CTF act of 2006 to all cryptocurrencies in Australia. This has been talked about before, back in December of 2013, but this time it looks like the Aussie government is in favor as well.
“Internationally, it is considered that the extension of AML/CTF regulation to include convertible digital currency exchanges would encourage innovation and investment by ensuring service providers have greater certainty and security in their dealings with digital currency business, while reducing the money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with emerging technology,” an Australian Government spokesperson said.
Bitcoin has been getting a bad reputation due to its use by criminals and terrorists, although these claims have yet to be validated. Bitcoins transparency offers users the ability to track transactions in real time, and governments across th globe would love to see bitcoin and all cryptocurrencies given AML regulation. Seeing all this happen, has given Australia more or a reason to label cryptocurrencies as money.
By putting cryptocurrencies under AML guidelines could very well boost the bitcoin adoption in Australia. Seeing as how the country plans on being a major FinTech player, adopting bitcoin would only further its position in that race. It would also make bitcoin a legitimate way for Aussies to transfer money and value in their regions, which would ultimately open the door to new opportunities.
Australia is now teaming up with Data16, a research unit of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, to study and understand the technology behind bitcoins blockchain.
The study will focus on the potential benefits and increased efficiency gained in productivity for the Australian economy. Moreover, Data16 will evaluate any and all proof of concept projects.
“Blockchain is certainly an example of a technology that has the potential to disrupt or change the way not only financial services transactions are carried out, but also those across virtually any other sector including the government,” Stefan Hajkowicz, a member of the Data61 Fore sighting Team stated.