Australia shows support to a more crypto-friendly investment climate.
Australia’s crypto industry scene can be described as low-key; one can’t really find some shocking crypto-relayed new from down under. However, hiding behind this serene, uneventful atmosphere is actually a crypto giant in the making – its government’s stance on these digital coins in terms of regulation, taxation and general attitude toward this emerging market could turn the nation into a major player in the coming years.
When it comes to talks about the cryptocurrency industry, the nation of Australia is usually not the first country that comes to mind. In the Asian region, the nations of South Korean, Japan and China can be considered the leading newsmakers for the industry. South Koreans are known for their passion where investors over 60 years of age hold the biggest portfolios in virtual currencies, the Japanese are known for their huge market and that huge crypto hack early this year dubbed to be the largest of such theft in the entire world while China is known for its government’s anti-crypto stance.
But that does not mean that nothing is happening in the cryptocurrency industry down under. While the world’s attention was busy elsewhere, Australia has been equally busy in making sure that crypto investors will feel right at home in the country.
Most countries have adopted some “wait-and-see” attitude while the members of the G20 summit are still busy brainstorming on what steps the international financial community must take in the face of ever-increasing decentralization of the markets. However, Australia is bucking the trend in this regard as the nation has already forged its own policies, regulations and long-range plans.
The astounding part is that while the other governments have hit the panic button, Australian authorities managed to remain clear-headed despite the industry’s negative hype in recent months. Compare to the stifling, unreasonable and generally combative approach by some nations, the Australian government’s regulations and policies can be described as “progressive and potentially uplifting” for the cryptocurrency market, according to CoinTelegraph.
For instance, the Australian government has taken steps that might eventually lead to legitimizing the new industry as a whole. On April 11, it announced that “Digital currency exchanges (DCE), with a business operation located in Australia, must now register with AUSTRAC and meet the Government’s AML [anti money laundering]/CTF [counter terrorism financing] compliance and reporting obligations.”
In fact, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) already approved the first two of such digital exchanges even before the announcement was made. On April 3, CoinSpot and Independent Reserve became the first two cryptocurrency exchanges in the country deemed to have passed the new AML-CTF rules.
What this means for investors is that they will have more protection when doing their virtual currency trading in the country. Under AUSTRAC’s supervision, the exchanges will now have to comply with the usual anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws followed by traditional financial institutions. These include the reporting of “suspicious” transactions as well as those worth more than $10,000 and the implementation of proper KYC.
Moreover, the Australian government’s rules on cryptocurrency taxes are considered to be more reasonable compared to other nations, according to Crowdfund Insider. For instance, investors can avail of a discounted tax rate if they hold on to their digital assets for more than a year.
Individuals who invest in cryptos “make a capital gain if the capital proceeds from the disposal of the cryptocurrency are more than its cost base.” However, if they “hold crypto for longer than 12 months,” they “…may be entitled to the CGT discount.”
Australia is currently ranked 14th globally in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. Based on yesterday’s trading, a total of AUD 2,810,190 worth of the cryptocurrency changed hands during the past 24 hours, which is around 276 BTC. While the figure is dwarfed by Japan’s daily volume, Australia may still catch up in the future given its good investment climate and its government’s willingness to see the new industry’s growth potential instead of focusing on its perceived risks.