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Australian Senate Committee rejects landmark crypto bill, sparks debate on digital asset regulation

In this post:

  • The Australian Senate Committee on Economics Legislation recommended against passing the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023, introduced by Opposition Senator Andrew Bragg, which aimed to establish a comprehensive framework for digital assets.
  • A dissenting report from Senators Bragg and Dean Smith suggested minor amendments to the bill and urged for its passage, emphasizing the need for a structured approach to digital asset regulation and tax treatment in Australia.
  • The committee’s decision has sparked a debate on the future of crypto regulation in Australia, with the dissenting report arguing that the current government approach is detrimental to consumers and investment in the digital asset sector.

The Senate Committee on Economics Legislation has advised against passing Senator Andrew Bragg’s Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023. The committee’s decision was officially communicated on September 4, recommending that the government continue researching the topic rather than enacting the proposed legislation.

Dissenting voices advocate for minor amendments

While the committee’s majority opinion was against the bill, Senators Andrew Bragg and Dean Smith offered a dissenting report advocating for its passage with minor amendments. Among the suggested changes was the exclusion of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) from the definition of regulated digital assets. 

As part of their recommendations, lawmakers who opposed the bill have suggested that the authors exclude certain asset-based tokens from the stablecoin definition. This could potentially include tokens like the Gold and Silver Standard and the BetaCarbon Token. Additionally, they have proposed extending the transition period from three to nine months to allow for a more gradual implementation of the changes. 

The dissenting senators also called for a review of the tax treatment of digital assets and transactions, aiming for new legislation to be introduced in early 2024.

The bill’s impact on Australia’s crypto market

Senator Bragg initially introduced the bill in March 2023 with the intent of protecting consumers and promoting investors. The draft legislation provided regulatory recommendations for stablecoins, licensing of exchanges, and custody requirements. The dissenting report argued that the government’s current approach to digital asset regulation is detrimental to Australian consumers and investment. It further stated that the bill represents the “first serious step towards implementing a comprehensive digital asset regulatory framework.”

The Senate committee’s decision comes amid growing concerns about the banking industry’s treatment of cryptocurrency firms. The Australian Department of the Treasury had previously acknowledged that the trend of banks severing ties with crypto companies could drive the industry underground, leading to unintended consequences.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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