Australia Issues ICO Regulatory Guidelines

Blockchain, ICO News, Investing, News, Regulation | September 29, 2017 By:

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued regulatory guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICO) in that country, its first outline of the potential law applications for fundraising using that financial tool.

The release of the guidelines was welcomed by the FinTech industry of Australia.

Danielle Szetho, CEO of Australia’s FinTech industry association FinTech Australia, said ASIC’s announcement was “the clarification we have all been waiting for, and I feel it strikes a very good balance between helping start-ups looking to run an ICO in Australia while at the same time informing and protecting potential investors The guidance ASIC has released is a positive step to ensure a viable future for ICOs in Australia, and sits alongside other positive initiatives such as removing double taxation on digital currencies and driving international blockchain standards.”

The Australian government has introduced a bill to remove double taxation of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. The bill will formally codify a ruling made earlier this year and will be retroactive to July 1 on transactions and supplies once passed by both houses of Parliament.

The Australian government has recently taken steps to bolster its cryptocurrency and blockchain communities. The Australian Tax Office (ATO). Earlier this month,  the government introduced the Treasury Laws Amendment, which exempts the purchase of bitcoin and other cryptocurrency as taxable supplies, removing double taxation when the currency is used to buy a taxable supply.

The so-called “double taxation” issue vexed the nascent bitcoin business community in Australia, and the government has indicated it is willing to help in efforts to foster the digital space. Until the recent bill on double taxation passed, consumers using digital currency were subjected to sales taxes upon purchase of the digital currency and then again on any use for purchase of goods and/or services. That drove several businesses from the country and hindered growth and development from Australia-based companies in the crypto and blockchain sectors.