Australian tax commissioner Chris Jordan, in statements made on Wednesday, suggested to the press that it was possible that Bitcoin might one day become legal tender in Australia.
Bitcoin has struggled with its regulatory status almost constantly since its creation: the legal status of Bitcoin has a lot to say about whether it will eventually grow to be a major, legitimate player in the lives of people around the globe or recede until it’s nothing but a seedy niche tool for human traffickers and drug dealers.
The road of regulation has been rocky, to say the last: the state of New York in the USA is aggressively pursuing a de-facto ban on Bitcoin businesses, and several nations (including Ecuador and Bolivia) have actually made it illegal. Other nations are more forthcoming – including, evidently, Australia.
In comments made Wednesday, Jordan talked about some lobbying that had been done by Bitcoin proponents to make Bitcoin a legal tender in Australia. While he mentioned that Bitcoin doesn’t currently meet the legal standards for such a change, he mentioned that those standards could well change in the future.
“There’s a definition in the Tax Act of money. It’s got to be the legal tender of a country. We can’t say it’s money. If this grows more and more maybe the definition needs to change.”
As matters stand right now, Bitcoin is considered an “intangible asset” under Australian law. An official, speaking at the time that the memo with this definition was issued, said,
“People involved in buying or selling bitcoin or other crypto-currencies – whether individuals or businesses – are encouraged to read our guidance. If their circumstances are not covered by the guidance, they can seek a private ruling by contacting us.”
Image via Australian Taxation Office website