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.

CoinTelegraph Blockshow Asia Singapore

Blockshow Asia in Marina Bay Sands, Singapore with (L-R) Sheree Ip (Blockchain Australia), Dr Stephane Savanah (Chief Scientist, Obito.io), and Alex Medana (CEO, FinFabrik).

CoinTelegraph brought Blockshow Asia back to Singapore’s shores last week at Marina Bay Sands, with over 100 international speakers for the event. 

Board Member, Sheree Ip, was invited to host Cointelegraph BlockShow’s panel session “Where the Future Lies: Why Capital Markets Really Need Blockchain?”. On the panel was Dr Stephane Savanah, Chief Scientist at Obito.io, and Alex Medana, CEO of FinFabrik, Founding Board Member of FinTech Association of Hong Kong and Digital Economy Task Force of UN ESCAP Sustainable Business Network. 

The panel session covered many discussions on both the technical and business fronts of using blockchain technology in capital markets, how the technology is key to improving the verification and efficiency in transactions, and how it can be applied across numerous different asset classes. Watch the first day here https://youtu.be/uY10df3rAdY.

The week long event opened with the Blockshow Asia conference over the two days, packed full of evening networking events. The two day conference was followed by “The Future of Token Economy” from SUSS (Singapore University of Social Sciences) event. The week was completed with an open day from all hubs, accelerators, and companies who opened their doors to attendees for panel session discussions in Singapore.

CoinTelegraph Blockshow Americas

Blockchain Australia Board Member, Sheree Ip, with Founder of BTCChina and Board Member of BTC Foundation, Bobby Lee.

Blockshow announced its new international conference in Las Vegas, USA this year, focused on government initiatives, insights on central banks, and the evolution of law and regulations. 

Board Member, Sheree Ip, was invited to speak at CoinTelegraph’s Blockshow America on the panel discussion “Does Blockchain Technology Really Define The Future of Real Estate?”. 

Alongside Mark Mueller-Eberstein (Investor, best-selling author), Ricky Ng (Chairman and Founder of IHT), Piper Moretti, CIPS (CEO of The Crypto Realty Group), and Luca Burlando (COO of Crypto Real Estate AG) the panel discussed whether blockchain defines the future of real estate using token technology, tokenization in the space, buying real estate with crypto, investments, consumer protection and more. Watch the full panel here: https://youtu.be/TE-9643EIdE 

The conference saw an array of speakers from Joanna Maska, CEO of Global Situation Room and former White House Director of Press Advance for President Barack Obama, Mike Butcher, editor at large at TechCrunch, Bobby Lee, Cofounder of BTCChina, Michael Bisping, former UFC Champion, to Dr Nouriel Roubini, Co-founder & former chairman of Roubini Global Economic – whose panel session sparked quiet the heated debate on “The Great Controversy: Blockchain As Seen From Major Institutions Perspective”. Watch the full panel here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JF0tJ_WqDhI