Australian Cash Transaction Restriction Draft Excludes Crypto

Digital currency payments will still remain under the scrutiny of lawmakers.

The draft of an Australian bill that proposed a limit for cash transaction has excluded digital assets from the list of restrictions.

Published last week by the country’s treasury department, the draft bill restricts any cash transactions above AUD10,000 (around $10,000).

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“The Currency (Restrictions of the Use of Cash) Act 2019 (the Act) establishes the cash payment limit and makes it an offense to make or accept a payment or series of connected payments in cash in excess of this limit,” the draft stated.

However, it also included a number of restrictions for the proposed bill.

Mentioning digital currencies, the draft bill noted: “Digital currency is a new and developing area in the Australian economy. Unlike physical currency, it does not have a firmly established regulatory framework or industry structure. This makes it difficult to apply the cash payment limit in a way that would not largely prevent the use of digital currency in Australia or significantly stifle innovation in the sector.”

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Curbing the sector in another way?

The decision was also fueled by the Australian government’s restriction on the use of cryptocurrencies for day-to-day use.

“At the same time, there is little current evidence that digital currency is presently being used in Australia to facilitate black economy activities. Given this, the Government has decided at the present time to effectively carve digital currency out from the cash payment limit,” the draft added.

However, the exclusion of digital currencies will remain under the scrutiny of the lawmakers.

“This position will remain under ongoing scrutiny to ensure that the exemption for digital currency payments remains appropriate in light of the current use of digital currency in the Australian economy.”

Australian government’s stance towards crypto is mixed compared to other major economies. In May, the country’s securities watchdog released a set of guidelines to clarify the classification and legality of initial coin offerings (ICOs) and crypto-assets.

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