Australia takes steps to better regulate cryptocurrencies
Greg Navarro
Australia is among a growing number of countries that are making efforts to better regulate the use of digital currencies. It is estimated that up to one million Australians have invested in crypto-assets.
"They (government officials) don't want to completely ban cryptocurrencies, there is some innovation in there, they don't want to completely remove that sector," said senior lecturer Adrian Lee from the University of Technology Sydney.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is in the process of ensuring that users adhere to tax guidelines.
The ATO is also concerned with the illegal use of cryptocurrencies, such as moving funds within the black economy and hiding money in offshore accounts.
"That's the main fear, there are crimes and also the uses for terrorism in Australia," said Lee.
The ATO also said it is working in a joint international effort as part of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (J5), which was aimed at investigating cryptocurrency-related tax evasion and money laundering.
"I think all currencies have a degree of black market transactions," said Hive-Ex co-founder Fred Schebesta. "Cash is probably the number one system today where money is laundered and there have been several banking institutions of late where this has been a major concern for them and I think that is a very small percentage of any major use of any currency."
Hive-Ex co-founder Fred Schebesta. /CGTN Photo

Hive-Ex co-founder Fred Schebesta. /CGTN Photo

Schebesta welcomes the push to better regulate the use of digital currencies, which he said adds legitimacy and makes their use more transparent.
"I think, in just five to seven years, cryptocurrency will just be a normal thing, it is not going anywhere. There are more and more adoptions taking place. If you look at the generation that is growing up with it right now, they just look at it as a normal investment," he said.