The Australian government is seriously considering introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and has supported a number of promising cryptocurrency regulatory proposals as part of its new Payments and Cryptographic Reform Plan.
Treasurer Josh Friedenberg said the reforms “will place Australia among the top countries in the world.”
The reform plan is considered the biggest disruption to the Australian payment system since the 1990s, as part of the cryptocurrency foundation was laid by groundbreaking proposals presented by the Australian Senate committee in September.
According to the Australian Financial Survey, the government supports six of the nine reforms proposed by the Senate committee, including a cryptocurrency exchange licensing system, laws governing decentralized autonomous organizations, and a public access system for new payment platforms.
Two proposals related to tax and financial compliance were submitted to the relevant government authorities, while another proposal related to the bitcoin tax deduction (BTC) for renewable energy for mining was rejected by the government.
Friedenberg outlined the government’s plans for cryptocurrency regulation, taxation and CBDC in a speech Wednesday at the Australian-Israeli Chamber of Commerce (AICC).
“What is clear is that if we embrace this development, Australia has a great opportunity to benefit from the convergence of finance and technology,” he said.
At the CBDC, an unnamed senior government source told The Australian on Tuesday that the “RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) supports bitcoin or cryptocurrency” hash counter is currently under consideration and will be a key component of the government’s digital payments regulation reform. …
During his AICC talk, Friedenberg spoke favorably about the crypto reform:
“For businesses, these reforms will remove the uncertainty that may exist regarding the regulatory and financial regime for cryptocurrencies and new payment methods. This will increase consumer interest, attract more new members and allow more innovation to be found. ”
“For consumers, these changes will create a regulatory framework to support the wider use of cryptocurrencies and clarify the handling of new payment methods,” he added.
One Senate committee proposal that the government seems to be ignoring is a 10% tax deduction for renewable energy bitcoin miners. Michael Harris, head of business development for local exchange Swyftx, told Cointelegraph:
– We think it was a political assessment. The truth is that any government will likely find it difficult to separate an industry like BTC mining from other energy consumers, no matter how supportive the intention is. ”
However, according to Harris, “the government’s voices are currently encouraging,” as the government seems to have recognized the need to pass consumer protection laws without stifling innovation.
“The devil is in the details, however, and we are particularly concerned about avoiding a system that reduces customer choices by accumulating decks in favor of the big traditional financial players.”
On the subject: Australian women holding cryptocurrency will double in 2021: survey
Crypto-friendly Senator Andrew Bragg, who has led recent cryptocurrency proposals, told Cointelegraph in a statement that Friedenberg’s plan to reform cryptocurrency and financial technology will put Australia on the tech map:
“Australia will be the leading cryptocurrency hub in the world under the cash scheme. Australian consumers will also benefit from the new consumer protection regulations. ”
“The world looks to Australia, which is currently setting the global standard for cryptocurrency, payments and digital wallet reform,” he added.
Caroline Bowler, CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets, hailed the reforms, calling them “an important step forward in updating Australia’s universal rules in real time.”
“It is good to see loopholes in Australian regulations regarding digital financial products and the exchanges that support them are finally being addressed at the highest level of government, and that the coalition government is not shying away from the underlying issues of cryptocurrency, payments and banking cancellation.”