Australia: Bitcoin cannot be avoided by banks, Labour Senator states

Friday 17 October 2014 13:33 CET | News

Sam Dastyari, an Australian Labour Senator, has warned Australian banks that a neutral position to Bitcoin adoption is not a wise decision, reports.

The Senator has made the statement against the backdrop of urging companies to provide feedback to a Senate inquiry into how to regulate the highly volatile digital currency.

The inquiry will evaluate the appropriate definition of cryptocurrencies under local tax laws, as well as how Australia will build a regulatory framework that balances the needs of a growing digital currency industry and the broader financial services sector and economy.

It comes after the Australian Tax Office (ATO) defined Bitcoin as an intangible asset in August 2014, rejecting the industrys calls for it to be categorised as a currency.

National Australia Bank (NAB), Westpac Banking Corp, ANZ Banking Group and Commonwealth Bank of Australia are among 74 organisations that have been approached by the inquirys committee, which is chaired by Senator Dastyari.

The list of companies also included the Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Federal Police, and international firms such as lobby group Bitcoin Foundation in the US and PayPal.

Australian banks have been skeptical and cautious in dealing with Bitcoins. Earlier in 2014, NAB retreated from digital currencies including Bitcoin, arguing they were too risky. High profile investors such as ¬Virgins Richard Branson have forked out more than USD 300 million for Bitcoin ventures.

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Keywords: Australia, Bitcoin, avoidance, banks, neutral, Senate inquiry, senator
Categories: DeFi & Crypto & Web3
Countries: World
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