Senate report provides compelling roadmap for Australia to lead digital and crypto asset industry

THE far-reaching recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the regulation of crypto assets present an opportunity to attract jobs, investment and innovation to Australia, according to RMIT University.

Parliament should adopt them as soon as possible, according to associate professor Chris Berg, co-founder of the Blockchain Innovation Hub at RMIT University.

RMIT University was recently ranked the second best university in the world for blockchain research and education, and scholars from the RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub provided a submission and twice gave evidence before the inquiry.  

Mr Berg said the recommendations in this report offer the cryptocurrency and blockchain sector the clarity which is desperately needed to ensure a thriving future digital economy.

“We have an opportunity to take a global leadership position and compete with countries such as the United States, Singapore and Switzerland in this incredibly vibrant sector,” Mr Berg said.

“It is good to see our recommendations to change how cryptocurrency is taxed and how blockchain-based decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) are regulated being taken up by the Australian Senate."

One of the submission’s co-authors, Elizabeth Morton, particularly welcomed the committee’s recommendation for targeted reform of the capital gains taxation regime as it applies to cryptocurrency.

“We see an urgent need to ensure the tax system achieves balance in simplification, reflective of a digitally driven economy, encouraging tax compliance and protecting tax revenues from the risk of leakage," Dr Morton said.

“Reform will offer clarity for taxpayers and confidence in the tax system as a whole."

 RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub research fellow, Aaron Lane said the Senate Committee’s recommendation to establish a new Decentralised Autonomous Organisation company structure, if legislated, will be the most significant reform to corporate law in two decades.

“Blockchain and cryptocurrency is not just about providing new types of financial products – this technology is the infrastructure for new ways of governing economic exchange," Dr Lane said.

“Providing DAO members with the option of a limited liability company structure will encourage talent and investment in Australia.”

Mr Berg said policy change "was much needed" to provide regulatory clarity to the industry.

“Senator Bragg and the committee have provided a compelling roadmap for how Australia can lead the global blockchain industry,” Mr Berg said.

The RMIT Blockchain Innovation Hub is based in the College of Business and Law at RMIT University, Melbourne.



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