Two pro-bitcoin Australian senators have formed a bipartisan advocacy group called the ‘Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain’ to foster development and discussion of the decentralized technology.
Labor senator Sam Dastyari and Liberal senator Jane Hume have co-convened to establish a formally recognized ‘Parliamentary Friendship Group’ on blockchain technology during an event at the Australian Parliament this month which was attended by over 100 digital currency and blockchain supporters.
A brief on the objectives of the working group, according to the Australian Parliament website, reads:
This group will provide a forum for Members and Senators to meet and interact with relevant stakeholders on matters relating to the future of Blockchain.
As reported earlier, the two senators have also called on the Reserve Bank, Australia’s central bank, to recognize bitcoin as a legal currency in the country. Labor senator Dastyari has also called for the government to develop its own digital currency over a blockchain.
Reacting to the formation of the new bipartisan group, the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) welcomed the news as “a boost” for the Australian blockchain sector. As a leading advocacy group comprising of bitcoin exchanges, companies, blockchain startups and more, the ADCA underlined the ‘significant opportunity to enhance dialogue between policymakers and industry’ with the formation of the new bipartisan group. The ADCA already includes the likes of the Victorian state government among its member ranks.
ADCA chief executive Nick Giurietto stated:
I hope that the formation of the Parliamentary Friends of Blockchain comes to be seen as a key moment when Australian business and government came together to press the accelerator pedal on blockchain adoption.
Among several noteworthy developments in the Australian digital currency space, authorities moved to regulate bitcoin exchanges under new anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) reforms last week. In May, new policies in Australia’s federal budget removed the double taxation of digital currency transactions in the country. The mandate went into effect on July 1, exempting purchases with digital currency from goods and services tax (GST).