Bitcoin Set To Be A ‘Global Currency’ In Australia
A new inquiry from the Australian government is looking to change current tax codes for Bitcoin in Australia. The initiative seeks to establish similar progressive standards in nations like the UK, Canada and Singapore, where Bitcoin is considered money.
Over the past year, bitcoin has become an increasingly popular commodity in Australia.
It is attracting business to the nation, and bitcoin ownership in Australia is among the world’s highest per capita, with 7 percent of the world’s bitcoin circulation running through the nation.
However, recently a new regulation, the Goods and Service Tax (GST) was levied on Bitcoin transactions, by Australia’s Taxation Office. The new law labeled Bitcoin an “intangible asset” causing a double-taxation effect for Bitcoin businesses.
Basically, the GST levy causes Bitcoin users to pay a tax when they buy the digital currency initially and pay another tax when they make a purchase with the currency.
One business that was affected by the new law was Coinjar which was forced to move their operation from Australia to the UK.
“If it is defined as a global currency, this would be a positive step to encouraging the bitcoin market to continue innovating. The Australian bitcoin market will significantly improve,” remarked Coinjar CEO Asher Tan.
However, there are downsides to the potential change in regulation like money laundering and terrorism financing. Bitcoin and digital currency companies will mitigate this potential by having to catalog all users through the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center.
“Without a doubt, the main benefit will be the confidence and certainty that removing GST will provide to our own digital entrepreneurs, and the foreign businesses who want to set up here,” commented Labor Senator Sam Dastyari about the new development.