Sorry, ATO: The Senate hearts Bitcoin as a currency


blog Those of you who follow the crypto-currency scene in Australia may remember that the Australian Taxation Office hasn’t always treated the most popular type of crypto-currency, Bitcoin, the way that those involved in its trade would prefer.

Many in the Bitcoin industry have maintained that this type of monetary exchange is a currently and not a good — so it should not be taxed as such if it changes hands. However, in August 2014 the ATO disagreed, labelling large crypto-currencies as assets subject to capital gains tax, although no tax would be applied for amounts of $10,000 or less.

However, the long-running crypto-currency inquiry by the Senate Standing Committee on Economics may be about to disagree with the ATO. The Financial Review today published the revelation that the Committee’s report next week may disagree with the ATO and recommend that crypto-currencies be further legitimised as currency. The Fin quotes Labor Senator and Economics Committee Chair Sam Dastyari as saying (we recommend you click here for the full article):

“It is a brand new and, frankly, very exciting technology – and Australia has a real opportunity to be a world leader. Digital currencies could revolutionise aspects of the payments industry, how we conduct financial transactions, or trade existing fiat currencies.”

The implications of this move could be enormous for the future of Australian financial services. Our big banks have thus far been quite leery of crypto-currencies, seeing the growing market as being something of a Wild West of the financial sector. Legislative change in this area could change that and set Australia up as a future leader. Let’s mark Senator Dastyari down as a fan and as another tech-savvy MP to add to our growing list, and see what the Economics Committee has to say precisely on the matter when the Senate sits next week.

Image credit: antanacoins, Creative Commons


  1. Delete this message once typo corrected:

    type of monetary exchange is a *currently* and not a good

    Should be:

    type of monetary exchange is a *currency* and not a good

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