Australia’s plans to embrace cryptocurrencies through progressive laws

When cryptocurrencies were designed, the idea of the government or its financial institutions meddling into the affairs of the digital currency were not envisioned. Indeed, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were designed to give users the freedom to transact without central regulation. It was probably not anticipated that these currencies would gain so much interest around the world. But since that has happened, the regulatory authorities have found it hard to stay away from the cryptos.

Recent news has indicated that governments around the world are keen on easing the tension between the traditional perception institutions have had on cryptocurrencies. Some of the issues that are at the fore currently are how regulation can be adopted as a way to foster the adoption and growth of cryptocurrencies by the mainstream market.

Australia’s take on regulation

There have been numerous approaches proposed on how governments should engage with digital currencies. Australia is one particular country that is seemingly leading the embrace to digital currencies through some progressive measures. AUSTRAC, the official Australian government financial intelligence agency is leading the way by creating the basic legal requirements for cryptocurrency trading in the country.

AUSTRAC has started by giving out licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges. Blockbid is one of the first exchanges that have been given the green light to do business in Australia and many other firms are also expected to be licensed in the course of time. It is clearly visible that the Australian government is doing a balancing job by regulating the cryptocurrency industry while still legitimizing it to the wider public.

The official status of cryptocurrencies in Australia

It should be remembered that Australia is the second country after Japan that fully accepted Bitcoin as legal tender in 2017. This move paved the way for the removal of prohibiting laws like double taxation. Currently, the focus of the government is on reviewing the laws that generally cover ICO’s, taxation and what investors can do in the market. There is no doubt that the full acceptance of cryptocurrencies is imminent. As reported by, the vibrancy in the cryptocurrency market is not about to lessen any time soon. The demand for cryptocurrency news has continued to get stronger by the day.

The reaction from the industry

So far, it seems that the general reception of the Australian government’s stance is positive in the industry. There is a feeling that the government has put effort into ensuring that consultation and openness are the underlying themes. The industry stakeholders thus have no qualms so far regarding the measures taken by the government.

Most times, the key issues that arise when the government decides to regulate industries are the prevention of illegal activities and taxation. The positive side of government involvement is not always highlighted though. The regulations fronted by the Australian government have in fact highlighted just how much progressive attitudes by regulating authorities can positively affect industries that have otherwise been deemed to be peripheral.

Changing institutional attitudes

A few years ago, cryptocurrencies were – to the eyes of the government and the wider public – financial channels that would be a haven for illegal transactions. With time though, the crypto industry has not only proved this theory to be false but it has shown just how much potential exists for the future. The changing regulatory climate is thus a positive nod from central authorities. Australia is definitely providing valuable lessons that can be emulated by other state institutions that are struggling to endure the actuality of cryptocurrencies. By encompassing blockchain and cryptocyrrency technologies, as well as financial upgrades with digital tokens and ICOs, Australians are setting themselves up almost as the ‘first-to-market.’ If the Australian government can get regulations into force early, they can grow a system that works for them and one that will be ahead of all others who are still undecided.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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