RMIT experts urge passage of crypto reforms


By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 27 October, 2021

RMIT experts urge passage of crypto reforms

Experts from RMIT’s Blockchain Innovation Hub have urged parliament to adopt the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the regulation of crypto assets, stating that the move would help attract jobs, investment and innovation to Australia.

Scholars from the hub provided a submission to the inquiry and twice gave evidence.

Hub co-founder Associate Professor Chris Berg said the recommended regulatory reforms provide a roadmap to allow Australia to take a leading role in the digital and crypto asset industry.

“We have an opportunity to take a global leadership position and compete with countries such as the United States, Singapore and Switzerland in this incredibly vibrant sector,” he said.

“It is good to see our recommendations to change how cryptocurrency is taxed and how blockchain-based decentralised autonomous organisations (DAOs) are regulated being taken up by the Australian Senate.”

Submission co-author Dr Elizabeth Morton said the recomemndations for targeted reform of capital gains tax in particular as it applies to cryptocurrency is particularly welcome.

“We see an urgent need to ensure the tax system achieves balance in simplification, reflective of a digitally driven economy, encouraging tax compliance and protecting tax revenues from the risk of leakage,” she said. “Reform will offer clarity for taxpayers and confidence in the tax system as a whole.”

Meanwhile, the recommendation to establish a new Decentralised Autonomous Organisation company structure, if accepted, would prompt most significant reform to corporate law in two decades, according to hub Research Fellow Dr Aaron Lane.

“Blockchain and cryptocurrency is not just about providing new types of financial products — this technology is the infrastructure for new ways of governing economic exchange,” he said.

“Providing DAO members with the option of a limited liability company structure will encourage talent and investment in Australia.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/karlstury

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