Australia To Extend AML Regulation To Bitcoin

Two-Bitcoins (1)A Bitcoin news report showed that the federal government in Australia is altering its way of thinking as far as cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins are concerned. The Australian government has reportedly announced that it would start with the calculation of GST on Bitcoin. The reason behind the change in stance is to avoid situations of double taxation. For this purpose, the government would implement Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regulations for digital currencies.

As of now, Australia does not consider cryptocurrency as real currency. It is considered barter in Australia. This has given rise to a tax situation that is highly unbalanced for individuals who deal in cryptocurrencies. Therefore, the implementation of the AML/CTF 2006 Act for digital currencies would bring about the biggest change in the Australian market. According to the Bitcoin news report, though the change in stance has been talked about since December 2013, this time around even the Aussie government is in favor of implementing it.

A government spokesperson reportedly said referring to the Bitcoin news that countries around the world believe that bringing in convertible digital currency exchanges with the purview of the AML/CTF regulation would encourage service providers to innovate and invest. Further, it would ensure greater security and certainty to service providers when dealing with digital currencies as part of running their businesses. Additionally, it would help to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Bitcoin news report noted that the reputation of digital currency has been tarnished because of its use by terrorists and criminals, though such claims have not yet been fully validated. In fact, Bitcoin operations are transparent and users can track transactions in real-time. Further, governments around the world want AML regulation to be extended to Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies. All these developments, the Bitcoin news report noted, have encouraged the Australian government to consider giving cryptocurrencies the status of real money.

bitcoinIncluding cryptocurrecies under the purview of AML guidelines could speed up the process of adoption of Bitcoin in Australia. In fact, the adoption of Bitcoins would contribute a great deal to the country’s drive to becoming a key FinTech player in the world, the Bitcoin news report noted. In addition, this would make transfer of money and value through Bitcoins legitimate. Ultimately, it would also contribute to opening up new opportunities.

Currently, Australia is working with the research unit Data61 under the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in order to study as well as have a clear understanding of the blockchain technology used by Bitcoin, according to the Bitcoin news report. The study is being carried out to determine as to how the potential benefits and enhanced efficiency in productivity would contribute to the Australian economy. Additionally, Data61 will not only evaluate, but also collect all proof from the concept projects.

Stefan Hajkowicz, one of the members of the Data61 Fore Sighting Team, said that the blockchain technology has the potential to change the way in which transactions in the financial services segment are carried out across all sectors, including the government sector.

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