Australia is set to announce reforms to cryptocurrencies that will reportedly be the “biggest reforms to payments rules in two decades”.
Australia joins other countries that have raised concerns about the crypto industry and tightened rules for cryptocurrencies.
Australia’s payment systems
Cryptocurrency like Bitcoin Prime adoption has skyrocketed in Australia, prompting the government to “introduce more regulations on the fees charged to users of Buy Now Pay Later and digital wallets”.
The Australian government wants to introduce clearer obligations for businesses, such as a licensing framework for crypto exchanges. This is to regulate the sale and purchase of digital assets.
The Board of Taxation is expected to set appropriate tax policies for cryptocurrencies, ensure transparency and control competition in the market.
The reforms will also provide more protection for consumers. Speaking to an Australian news agency, Frydenberg said: “Modernising our payments infrastructure and regulation of cryptocurrencies will strengthen our financial system and improve consumer protections.”
Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg is optimistic. “The comprehensive payments and cryptocurrency reform plan I am announcing will place Australia firmly among a handful of leading countries in the world,” he said.
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More Australians are betting on technology
Around the world, the technology sector is growing by leaps and bounds, and Australia is no exception.
According to the Australia Associated Press, it is estimated that the technology sector employs over 850,000 Australians. The global market capitalisation of cryptocurrencies is said to be more than $2 trillion.
About 50% of Australians make payments with their mobile phones. During the pandemic, a surge in the use of digital wallets was noted.
In addition, a survey conducted by Finder’s Cryptocurrency Adoption Index reports that Australia “ranks third in the list of countries surveyed with a crypto ownership rate of 17.8%.”
“Of those who have invested in cryptocurrencies, more than half (65.2%) own Bitcoin,” the survey results state.
Ethereum is the second most popular cryptocurrency at 42.1%, while Cardano is third at 26.4%, according to Finder’s findings.
Frydenberg welcomes this development, saying, “Australia has an opportunity to be one of the world’s leading countries when it comes to embracing this new technology.”
Australia considers launching a central bank digital currency
Tony Richards, head of payments at the Reserve Bank of Australia, said in a speech to the Australian Corporate Treasury
Association: “A retail central bank currency would be like a digital version of cash, universally accessible.”
The bank is therefore planning to consider a digital central bank currency (CBDC) for retail.