Australia’s proposed legislation for regulating digital assets, introduced by Senator Andrew Bragg in March 2023, has encountered several delays in the Senate’s review process. The Senate Committee on Economics Legislation has now provided feedback on the bill, suggesting amendments.
Minor Changes Recommended
In their report on the “Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023,” the Senate committee recommended several minor amendments to the legislation. Notably, they proposed removing the term “nonfungible tokens (NFTs)” from the definition of regulated digital assets. Additionally, they suggested excluding specific asset-based tokens like the Gold and Silver Standard and the BetaCarbon Token from the definition of stablecoins. The committee also recommended extending the transition period from three to nine months.
Tax Treatment of Digital Assets to be Reviewed
The Senate report urged the Board of Taxation to conduct a comprehensive review of the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions within Australia. The goal is to introduce legislation addressing this matter in early 2024.
Furthermore, the report emphasized the importance of implementing the recommendations made by the Council of Financial Regulators concerning potential policy responses to debanking in Australia. This issue has arisen due to some banks cutting off services to cryptocurrency firms, which could have unintended consequences such as pushing the industry into unregulated spaces.
Senator Bragg’s Efforts
Senator Andrew Bragg introduced the “Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023” earlier this year, with the aim of safeguarding consumers and promoting investor confidence in the cryptocurrency space. The bill proposes regulatory measures related to stablecoins, exchange licensing, and custody requirements.
The Senate Committee’s latest report came after several delays in the review process. Originally expected by August 2, the committee sought extensions to the reporting date, with deadlines extended to August 16, August 25, and ultimately September 4.