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Australian Senator proposes landmark Digital Services Act

23-Mar-2022 By: Rohit Tripathi
Australian Senator p

The new legislative package will address issues 

in crypto custody, taxation, and DAO operations in order to protect consumers against bad actors in the space. 

Australian Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg opened the Australia Blockchain Week conference with a bombshell legislative proposal that he hopes will lay the groundwork for a new Digital Asset ecosystem down under.

The proposed Digital Services Act (DSA) legislative package calls for reforms in crypto market licensing, custody, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), debanking,and taxes. Senator Bragg said in his address at the conference that he expectsthe legislation in the Act to “protect (crypto) consumers against maliciousoperators.”

Senator Bragg outlined the four main pillars that the DSA isguided by. He explained that the DSA would be technologically neutral, havebroad and flexible principles, be regulated by a Minister rather than abureaucratic agency, and use government resources and personnel. In his view, suchguidance will help Australia show that the country is ready to take a greaterrole in the crypto industry.

“This will show Australia is open for businessand things are clear and clean.”

The Senator also took on DAO’s, challengingvarious branches of the government to take them seriously. He went as far ascalling them “an existential threat to the tax base” under current rules.

According to data published by the Parliament of Australia, the company tax accounts for thesecond-largest source of revenue for the government behind income tax, however, DAOs are not taxed as companies.

To that, Senator Bragg said that his country’s“reliance on company tax is unsustainable” if an increasing number oforganizations become a DAO. As a result, the DSA would task the government with creating a framework for creating standards for DAOs without stifling theircore principles.

The standards would essentially ensure consumers have access to audit, assurance, and disclosure services from DAOs that helpthem distinguish between retail and wholesale organizations. Senator Braggcalled for the Treasury to address those issues while also “leaving the fieldopen for DAOs to continue to live up to their name.”

One of the major concerns in the crypto market lately is its useby individuals and nations to circumvent global economic sanctions. There iscurrently a debate raging in the USSenate about whether the Russian government is able to keep its military operation inUkraine funded with the help of cryptocurrency.

Blockchain tracking firm Elliptic found on Mar. 15 that some sanctioned individualsare holding crypto, but Senator Bragg stated that the Aussie government was powerless under the current Digital Currency Exchange (DCE) laws to serveretribution on such offenders.


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