Australian Government Pledges Measly $100K Towards Blockchain Development

Australia’s Karen Andrews of the Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology is pledging $ 100,000 towards furthering blockchain development. In a press release, Andrews says her department will put the money towards “regulation, skills and capacity building, and international competitiveness and collaboration.” It’s a solid step forward in the nation’s fight to become a global blockchain leader. Unfortunately, the funds are significantly lower than previous offers like one billion AUD towards IBM’s blockchain developments for Australia’s government. The move leads enthusiasts to question what impact such a tiny sum could really have. I want Australia to lead the world when it

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Australian Police Arrests Bitcoin Exchange Operator for Running a Drug Ring

The Australian Federal Police arrested a 27-year bitcoin exchange operator for running a drug distribution ring. The investigation dates back to 2017 when the AFP had arrested two Victorian men for importing drugs to Australia. The agency reportedly continued their probe, which led them to reveal an email-based drug trafficking organization operating out of Australian suburbs Bulleen, Templestowe Lower, and Malvern. The AFP raided these premises and seized steroids, money and what it called “cryptocurrency-related items.” Following the arrest, the AFC charged the accused drug trafficker for importing, trafficking and possessing 66 pounds of banned drugs, including MDMA, methamphetamine, cocaine,

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Australian Tax Agency Seeks Public Input Concerning Cryptocurrency Taxes (news.bitcoin.com)

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has been researching how to formulate regulatory guidelines for taxing cryptocurrencies recently. This week the ATO is seeking input from Australian residents concerning how the country should tax digital assets.
Also read: South Korean Exchange Paying Users to Report Illegal Crypto Schemes

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Australian Gold Refinery Announces Plan to Develop Cryptocurrency (news.bitcoin.com)

Perth Mint, Australia’s largest gold refiner, has announced plans for the development a cryptocurrency backed by physical gold. If successful in developing the altcoin, it will join a long list of virtual currencies seeking to entice cryptocurrency investors to experiment with commodity-backed virtual currencies, including Venezuela’s soon to be launched ‘petro’.
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Analysts Point to Regulatory Vacuum as Driving Australian Cryptocurrency Banking Woes (news.bitcoin.com)

There are increasingly publicized challenges posed to the Australian cryptocurrency industry by the country’s ‘big four’ banks’ refusal to provide financial services to crypto companies. Many analysts are speculating that the issue will become the catalyst for the development of detailed regulations for the virtual currency era, arguing that the opaque nature of the current legislative apparatus pertaining to cryptocurrencies is to blame for Australia’s bitcoin banking embargo.

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Australian Freeze: Big Aussie Banks Denying Bitcoiners (news.bitcoin.com)

Bitcoiners in Australia claim banks are on purpose freezing their bank accounts, disallowing exchange transfers, and at least one exchange is over-reacting to the freeze. They’re so unnerved they’ve done what any good crypto enthusiast does: air it all on social media and in comment threads.  
Also read: Bitcoin’s Value — Like Beauty —

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