Can Australia drive Bitcoin and FinTech Development in the Southeast?

Can Australia drive Bitcoin and FinTech Development in the Southeast?

After the 1st of July 2017, Australian blockchain and Bitcoin-related businesses that have relocated abroad can return. contacted experts from Australia and asked them about the problems that the government should solve for the cryptocurrency and blockchain markets during the next year.

Australia takes an important step toward Bitcoin and cryptocurrency acceptance with the government’s decision to drop the double goods and services tax (GST) starting July 2017.

Double taxation – problem for the whole cryptocurrency industry

Most countries have no problems with double taxation and GST being applied to Bitcoin purchases. And Australians often had to buy cryptocurrency overseas, which also blocks the development of a local cryptocurrency market.

Gov van Ek, Co-Founder at Ledger Assets Pty Ltd, a company researching and commercializing Blockchain systems in Australia commented to

“It is good news as I suspect many Australians may have bought Bitcoins overseas, as no GST applies to Cryptocurrency in most overseas jurisdictions. So Australia is merely moving into line with other advanced overseas jurisdictions in the tax treatment of Cryptocurrency – and this is welcome as it will stop forcing certain Australian innovation companies in the space overseas as happened in the past.”

The Australian government was speaking about its plans to solve the problem of double taxation for more than a year which also caused uncertainty for the possibility of further development of local startups within that period. When, finally, the government revealed its decision to drop the GST on Bitcoin purchases, the crypto community welcomed it with relief.

Katherine Noall, an Expert in Blockchain and Distributed Technologies, and Co-founder & CEO at ExistenceID, an international platform for digital identity storage and onboarding, also commented:

“This is a really positive move, but it has taken years. Slow legislation can be really damaging to the climate for entrepreneurs and innovators. It is great that things have now changed.”

Adriana Belotti, former Vice President of the Bitcoin Association of Australia, said:

“The community has welcomed the GST lift with relief. It is a great incentive for Aussie startups and crypto traders to bring back their operations to Australia. It is the result of a combined effort of various members of our community, who were very proactive, and at times relentless, in advising and educating government officials, so they could make the right decision.”

David Temple, Co-founder at commented:

“We are very pleased to see this change made in the 2017 budget. Although many in the industry expected the double taxation to be fixed at some point, it wasn’t clear how long it would take to push through. It will remove an unnecessary obstacle and help clear the way for innovation in the digital currency space.”

Nick Addison, software developer, digital currency entrepreneur and chief technology officer at AgriDigital, a provider of SaaS commodity management solutions and agri-blockchain applications in Australia, stated:

“The Australian government decided a year ago they would drop the tax on digital currencies. It’s taken this long to work how exactly they will do it as it requires changes to the Goods and Services tax act. They are still to release publicly how this will be done.”

The first brick

Until the 1st of July, Australians buying Bitcoins must pay GST twice: once on the purchase of the digital currency and once again on its use in exchange for other goods and services subject to the GST. However, the AUD/BTC exchange rate reacted with a slight rise after the announcement from the government.

Cameron Dart, CEO and Founder at Australian FinTech, a website about local fintech projects in Australia, stated:

“It’s a fantastic move by the Government to drop the GST “double-dip” on digital currencies (not just Bitcoin as widely reported). The result will see more Australians investing in digital currencies, however, I can’t see Australians alone pushing the price up because of the infancy of Fintech here and the lack of knowledge of digital currencies, how they work, how they can be used and of course, traded.”

Peter Caruana, founder of a barter proof-of-work cryptocurrency Bata (BTA) from Australia, said to

“Growth of Bitcoin payments have grown over 3000% in Australia over the last 3 years, so this move will increase the growth dramatically. Clearer Bitcoin / Cryptocurrency definitions from the ATO are paving the way for legitimacy, which in turn will increase acceptance by retailers and merchants. This move will allow more innovation in the Australian market as it has been lagging behind other countries when it comes to Cryptocurrency in general.”


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Source: Can Australia Drive Bitcoin and FinTech Development in the Southeast? – Coin Idol