Blockchain Australia ICO Working Group

What’s Happening?

The Australian Government’s the Treasury department has opened, on 31 January 2019, a consultation period for Initial Coin Offerings. In a consultation period the department usually provides a paper outlining the issues or proposed laws, they are seeking to resolve or put in place. The general public are then given the chance to respond to these questions or comment on the proposed laws, usually in terms of how the incoming laws or policies may impact their businesses.

With our hundreds of Blockchain Australia members we want all your voices to be heard. Let’s hear from you, of how you want to see Australia champion ICO policy for Australian businesses.

We are putting together an ICO Working Group in which we will seek responses from all our members collectively and put forward a response of the key issues, on our members behalf.

The Issues Paper sets out the context behind the key proposed consultation questions. If you or your business would like to participate and respond to the questions for comment, you can fill in our form here and we will take it from there. We would need you to fill in your response to us no later then 15 February 2019. This will allow us ample time to review all our responses from our members. Then we will collate and put forward a submission of the key industry issues from Blockchain Australia to the Treasury, before the close of submissions on 28 February 2019.

Consultation Questions

These following are the key questions the Treasury department have put open for discussion in the consultation Issues Paper.

When completing the form, you do not need to answer all questions. You may chose to answer only those of relevance or interest to you. When answering on behalf of your businesses, please provide the impact of the policy on your business and you may even provide examples to us as well. This is so we can have an understanding of what the challenges are for you.

Definitions and Token Categories

1.1. What is the clearest way to define ICOs and different categories of tokens?

Drivers of the ICO Market

2.1. What is the effect and importance of secondary trading in the ICO market?

2.2. What will be the key drivers of the ICO market going forward?

Opportunities and Risks

3.1. How can ICOs contribute to innovation that is socially and economically valuable?

3.2. What do ICOs offer that existing funding mechanisms do not?

3.3. Are there other opportunities for consumers, industry or the economy that ICOs offer?

3.4. How important are ICOs to Australia’s capability to being a global leader in FinTech?

3.5. Are there other risks associated with ICOs that policymakers and regulators should be aware of?

Regulatory Frameworks in Australia

4.1. Is there ICO activity that may be outside the current regulatory framework for financial products and services that should be brought inside?

4.2. Do current regulatory frameworks enable ICOs and the creation of a legitimate ICO market? If not, why and how could the regulatory framework be changed to support the ICO market?

4.3. What, if any, adjustments to the existing regulatory frameworks would better address the risks posed by ICOs?

4.4. What role could a code of conduct play in building confidence in the ICO industry? Should any such code of conduct be subject to regulator approval?

4.5. Are there other measures that could be taken to promote a well-functioning ICO market in Australia?

Tax Treatment of ICOs

5.1. Does the current tax treatment pose any impediments for issuers in undertaking capital raising activities through ICOs? If so, how?

5.2. Is the tax treatment of tokens appropriate for token holders?

5.3. Is there a need for changes to be made to the current tax treatment? If yes, what is the justification for these changes?

Next Steps

To submit your answers to the consultation questions, fill out our form here no later than the 15 February 2019 and we will handle the rest.

We may be in contact with you as a part of our ICO Working Group, if we have further follow up questions for you, that may help to bolster our Blockchain Australia submission.

Not a member, but you would like to be a part of our ICO Working Group? You can join us and hundreds of other members making a difference here.

If you need to reach out to us, you can contact us on our dedicated ICO Working Group email ico@bitcoin.asn.au or on our Official Blockchain Australia Telegram.