The last week, the Parliament of Australia passed a bill that eliminates double taxation on cryptocurrencies. The bill is backdated to July 1st, 2017. In this way, Bitcoin will get the same treatment as foreign currency in Australia.
The bill was presented to the parliament on September the 14th of this year. “Currently, consumers who use digital currency can effectively bear GST (Good an Services Tax) twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST”, commented Scott Morrizon, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia.
Removing the double taxation of digital currency: good news for investors
This is a movement that it is in line with Australia’s position on Fintech policies. The bill will allow digital currency businesses to operate in Australia in a much friendly framework. In addition to this fact, the Australian government has the intention to keep working with the Australian Fintech industry to play a central and competitive role in the international stage.
In 2014, CoinJar and Atlassian, two Bitcoin startup businesses, moved their headquarters to London in order to search for better tax situation and a friendlier approach towards Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. However, Bitcoin and other virtual currencies remain unregulated. “There would be nothing to stop people in this country deciding to transact in some other currency in a shop if they wanted to. There’s no law against that, so we do have competing currencies”, commented the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Bitcoin popularity is growing in Australia
The double taxation was a problem for investors willing to operate in Australia. An Australian startup named Living Room of Satoshi allows users to pay their bills with Bitcoin. You can pay school fees, electricity, gas, water, credit cards and other utilities without extra fees for the Bitcoin payments. Besides, this Bitcoin business gives you 1 point every $1 dollar spent with them to be changed for prizes.
The Australian Dollar ranks 6th in trading volume globally with Ƀ 2,708 traded in the last 24hs. That means that it has almost two times more volume that the British Pound. It has seven times more volume than the Canadian Dollar. The amount of Bitcoin ATMs in the country is growing and multiple Bitcoin exchanges are operating in the Australian territory. For these reasons we can consider Australia a bitcoin-friendly country.
As regards the Blockchain technology, Australian Central Bank published a report that stated: “One aspect of fintech that has been examined closely in the emergence of distributed ledger technology (DLT), often referred to as “blockchain” technology. The bank is participating in a working group of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures examining FLT and its implications. In February, the working group published an analytical framework for authorities wishing to review and analyse the use of this technology for payments, clearing and settlement.”