The Economic Legislation Committee of Australia’s Senate has now commented on the cryptocurrency legislation proposed by Senator Andrew Bragg.
On September 4th, the committee expressed its thoughts on the proposed legislation, titled “The Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023”. The main consensus was that the Senate shouldn’t approve the bill. Instead, they advised the government to pursue further research on the matter.
However, in a contrasting report, Senators Bragg and Dean Smith voiced a more favorable stance on the legislation, advising the Senate to adopt it with some adjustments, like excluding nonfungible tokens (NFTs) from the list of regulated digital assets.
Furthermore, these Senators proposed that certain tokens, possibly including the Gold and Silver Standard and the BetaCarbon Token, should not be categorized as stablecoins. They also recommended extending the adaptation phase from three months to nine.
Bragg and Smith also called on the Board of Taxation to reconsider the tax implications of digital asset dealings in Australia, with hopes of introducing a new law by early 2024.
Moreover, they suggested that the government should wholly accept the Council of Financial Regulators’ recommendations on potential measures to address debanking in Australia. The country’s Treasury Department has previously acknowledged the potential risks of banks discontinuing services for cryptocurrency businesses, warning it could push the sector underground. The contrasting report highlighted that the existing approach towards digital asset regulation negatively impacts Australian consumers and investors, emphasizing that this bill represents a “pivotal step towards establishing a thorough digital asset regulatory system.” Senator Bragg introduced the Digital Assets (Market Regulation) Bill 2023 in March with the intent of “safeguarding consumers and encouraging investors.” The bill outlines rules for stablecoins, exchange licensing, and custodial provisions.
The Senate committee’s feedback arrives later than initially anticipated. Originally, the committee aimed to report by August 2nd, but this was postponed to August 16th. It was then rescheduled to August 25th, before finally being released on September 4th.