The Economic Legislation Committee of the Australian Senate has finally provided feedback on the cryptocurrency bill introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg. The Senate emphasized that the proposal is an important step in the country’s digital asset regulations and called on the government to consider its policy responses in this area by reviewing the tax treatment of crypto assets and transactions in Australia.
The Committee reported on the draft bill called “Digital Assets Bill 2023” on September 4th and requested the authors of the bill to make some changes. The Senate concluded that it would pass the bill with minor changes, such as removing the term NFT from the definition of regulated digital assets.
Among other recommendations, the members of parliament also asked the bill authors to exclude specific asset-based tokens like Gold and Silver Standard and BetaCarbon Token from the definition of stablecoin. The Senate also requested an extension of the transition period from three months to nine months. In the report, the Senate called on the Taxation Board to review the tax treatment of crypto assets and transactions in Australia by early 2024.
The members of parliament also added that the government should fully implement the recommendations of the Financial Regulators Council for potential policy responses to borrowing in Australia. The Australian Treasury previously acknowledged that the increasing trend of banks cutting services to crypto firms could lead to undesirable consequences, such as driving the industry underground.
“The committee inquiry has shown that the government’s approach to digital asset regulation is detrimental to Australian investments.”
According to the Senate, Senator Bragg’s proposal is the first significant step towards implementing a comprehensive digital asset regulatory framework:
“The government has abandoned the ambitious crypto agenda of the former liberal government, and Australians will pay the price for it.”
Senator Bragg introduced the Digital Assets Bill 2023 in March to protect consumers and encourage investors. The bill offers regulatory proposals for the licensing of stablecoins and custody requirements for exchanges. The Senate Committee’s final report came shortly after the expected deadline. The Committee initially planned to submit a report on the bill by August 2nd, but requested an extension to August 16th. The deadline was then extended to August 25th and finally to September 4th.