Bitcoin Adopters in Australia Swell Amid Regulation, Record Highs


Bitcoin is in the headlines again for hitting new all-time highs, driving both retail and mainstream investors across the world to get in on the frenzy.

Bitcoin price hit an unprecedented all-time high of $5,920 on Friday, representing a remarkable 490% growth for the cryptocurrency since the turn of the year. Key factors boosting confidence in the cryptocurrency this year include Japan’s legislation of bitcoin as a legal method of payment in the country, a noteworthy acceptance of the decentralized digital currency from the third largest economy in the world. More recently, Japan issued 11 licenses to bitcoin exchanges to operate in the country.

Similarly, Australian authorities have also introduced cautiously embracive legislation to accommodate bitcoin activity as a part of the country’s wider FinTech-forward agenda. Less than a month ago, the Australian government introduced a bill to remove the double taxation of transactions involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Authorities vehemently stated they were “committed” to removing the double taxation in 2016, wherein bitcoin adopters had to pay the goods and services tax (GST) on the product before being taxed again for the GST levied on the digital currency used during the transaction.

In August, Australia’s justice minister announced regulation for the country’s digital currency exchanges for the first time. The regulatory work is “legitimizing” bitcoin for new investors, according to Adrian Przelozny, chief executive at Sydney-based bitcoin exchange Independent Reserve.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the bitcoin executive stated:

The amount of regulatory work in Australia has people feeling much more confident in Bitcoin so we’re seeing all kinds of people investing. This is a global trend too.

Unlike the hardline regulatory moves taken by China and Korea where initial coin offerings (ICOs) are banned outright, Australia’s securities regulator recognized the potential of the radical new form of fundraising and issued new guidelines for ICO organizers and startups in September.

Przelozny added:

These kinds of regulations give new investors confidence. It’s slowly legitimizing Bitcoin which gives the price support.

The Sydney-based exchange was also adding “between 100 and 200 new users everyday” the executive revealed, with a typical account opening with between AUD$20,000 and $50,000. Altogether, the exchange is handling up to $4 million in transactions on average every day.

Bitcoin has also gained a bipartisan rallying call urging the central bank to deem it a legal currency in Australia. The two pro-bitcoin Australian senators leading the charge have since formed a bipartisan advocacy group for digital currencies and blockchain technology in the Australian Parliament.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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