Australian ‘Crypto Senate’ inquiry pushes for crypto legitimization

The Australian Senate has officially taken position on cryptocurrencies – and it’s a positive one! Recently, the relevant committee of the Australian senate has recommended that Australia amend certain taxation, licensing and regulations relating to crypto. Specifically, this is supposed to benefit potential new businesses.

Ultimately, Australia aims to have more crypto-asset companies settle there. If their proposed strategy is successful, this could lead to an increase in local crypto-projects, including the somewhat limited crypto-gaming industry that already exists there. Australia is lagging behind other major countries when it comes to crypto projects in general, and crypto gaming in particular.

To the moon

The committee and its role

In total, 12 recommendations were made for the legislation changes, which included new regimes for market licensing for currency exchanges, custodial services, depository services, changes to anti-money laundering laws, as well as counter-terrorism financing guidelines, in order to get them up to snuff.

At the moment, Australia (and many other countries) lack reasonable regulatory oversight – and that’s despite the billions of dollars that are traded each year. In order to operate any kind of digital currency exchange in Australia, the only requirement is to register with the local anti-money laundering regulator AUSTRAC, which doesn’t offer protections for investors and those who use that exchange.

Naturally, a lot of the suggested changes that were detailed by the committee relate to properly taxing earnings on crypto – however, there are also some pretty forward-thinking proposals in the batch. One of the most noteworthy things there is the suggestion that there ought to be a 10 percent tax discount applied to businesses that manage to source their own renewable energy sources to mine their crypto tokens.

Energy usage and thus CO2 emissions are one of the major concerns with cryptocurrencies, so alleviating those issues from the mining process on is a great way to counteract the negative impact it can have. The chair of the committee, Andrew Bragg, said: “I’m concerned about the brain drain and the loss of good people really, because you’re already seeing Australian crypto markets seeking licences offshore.”

The benefit of DAOs

DAOs – decentralized autonomous organisations – offer a lot of potential benefits to people. They are all coordinated by either code or a unique smart contract, and in the wake of Covid-caused instability, a form of organization that a lot of new projects are picking instead of more traditional incorporated associations.

That’s despite the fact that Australia doesn’t currently recognize it as a ‘thing’ – even though other places, such as Wyoming in the US already do. If they were legislated, a huge amount of opportunities could open up to those interested in starting new crypto projects in Australia. With interests in NFTs and NFT-based projects being as popular as they are, there will likely be a considerable number of interested parties, programmers and creators that will want to jump on the hype-train if Australia does in fact see the suggested legislation changes all the way through.

As one of the developing esports and gaming markets, bringing in Crypto legislation and bolstering support will surely support the cause of the aforementioned industries, especially in a year where NFTs, cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are having a huge impact on both gaming and esports.

Mel Hawthorne

[Staff Writer] Mel is a London-based journalist that has been writing about video games for a few years now. After growing up in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs before she settled on what she really wanted to do – periodically anger video game fans by expressing her opinions on video games via the Internet.

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