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Scepticism amid the cheers for Bragg report

Mike Taylor21 October 2021
Image of city highway with zeros and ones extending across

The financial services industry has given a generally positive welcome to the final report of the Parliamentary Committee on Australia as a Technology Centre, but a significant venture capitalist and private equity investor has expressed about whether its recommendations can be implemented.

Mark Carnegie noted that the report of the committee chaired by NSW Liberal Senator, Andrew Bragg, was being celebrated as a landmark event for the industry but said he had some serious concerns about implementation.

“Senator Andrew Bragg’s Select Committee Report on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre is a great report with some strong recommendations,” Carnegie said. “But, if we get legislation implemented and taxation certainty by the end of FY 2021, I will host a party at Bondi Icebergs for everyone.”

Carnegie said the speed at which Australia was trying to actually implement regulatory change, and the speed with which this technology is changing were “just poles apart”.

“Based on the market licensing recommendations, we will now prepare for a digital currency exchange licence, if ASIC will engage,” he said. “Our DAO (Crypto Gaming United) got driven out of Australia because of ambiguity and is now headquartered in Singapore because of its progressive jurisdiction.”

“If you could make the DAO structure globally competitive, people would flood to Australia.”

“There needs to be more clarity on the tax treatment of DAOs and laws to be changed to allow financial advisers to give advice on cryptocurrency to protect retail investors.”

However, BTC Markets chief executive, Caroline Bowler reflected the broader positivity of the industry saying that the Parliamentary Committee report not only met but surpassed her company’s expectations in many ways.

She particularly noted the proposed market licensing regime for Digital Currency Exchanges and the establishment of a custody or depository regime for digital assets under the Treasury portfolio.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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