Australian Regulators Finalize New Regulations

March 24, 2016         By: Mike Dautner

After debating and discussing the future of financial technology regulations for months, regulators in Australia have finally released new rules and provisions.

Treasurer Scott Morrison was seen traveling from agency to agency over the past several months, engaging regulators and industry insiders to gather information.

Morrison appears to have completed his search for the best way to proceed with fintech regulations, and the new rules appear to be beneficial to the industry as a whole.

The new rules and provisions stipulate that bitcoin will be exempt from the goods and services tax (GST), potentially opening up the marketplace to bitcoin payment standardization.

The new regulations also say that certain restrictions on crowdfunding sites will be eased, allowing for more small businesses to launch when they otherwise cannot get access to an industry loan.

Morrison also decided to allow the “sandbox” rule to come into play, meaning that many young firms can temporarily bypass certain regulations and directly offer the market products and services without needing to jump over too many regulatory hurdles.

Part of the push by Morrison and others to restructure fintech regulations was to ensure that the Australian government’s promise to create an agile economy was seen through.

“We will ensure access to concessional tax treatments for venture capital investments in fintech firms, will take action to prevent the double taxation of digital currencies – we won’t be taxing digital currencies,” Morrison said on Monday said earlier in the week.

“We will be commissioning the Productivity Commission to start an inquiry into options to increase data availability to facilitate new and better products and consumer outcomes.”