Australian government gives nod to 6 world leading crypto reforms
The Australian government has reportedly backed crypto proposals relating to crypto exchange licensing and DAO governance, but has knocked back a 10% cut for sustainable BTC miners.

The Australian government is seriously consider the rollout of central bank digital currency (CBDC) and has backed numerous forward-looking regulatory crypto-proposals as part of a new “payments and crypto reform plan.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the reforms "will firmly place Australia among a handful of lead countries in the world."

The reform plan is said to be the biggest shake-up of the Australian payments system since the 1990s, with part of the crypto-related groundwork set by the innovative proposals put forward by an Australian Senate Committee in September.

According to the Australian Financial Review, the government is in favor of six out of nine reforms proposed by the Senate Committee, including a licensing regime for crypto exchanges, laws to govern decentralized autonomous organizations and a common access regime for new payments platforms.

Two proposals relating to tax and financial compliance have been referred to their respective government bodies for consideration, while the government has knocked back another proposal related to renewable energy Bitcoin mining tax discounts.

Treasurer and deputy leader of the Liberal Party Josh Frydenberg outlined the government’s plans for crypto regulation, taxation and CBDCs in a speech today at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC).


South Korea financial authority rules that NFTs are taxable
Korean lawmaker say they plan to impose taxes on NFTs after classifying them as virtual assets.

South Korea’s Financial Services Commission, or FSC, announced Tuesday that nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, will be taxed starting next year. According to The Korea Herald, this tax law amendment would impose a 20% tax on income from virtual assets that exceed 2.5 million won ($2,102) as of Jan. 1, 2022.

The FSC’s vice chairman Doh Kyu-sang specified that only some NFTs would be categorized as virtual assets and therefore subject to “other income” taxes, referring to those used for investment or payment on a large scale. Tax authorities are in charge of defining the full scope of taxable NFTs.

This announcement, however, differs from last month’s stance when the FSC had issued a public statement reaffirming that NFTs are not virtual assets and would not be regulated. Korean lawmakers now appear to view NFTs in the same taxable light as cryptocurrencies. A planned tax on cryptocurrency gains was set to take effect on January 1, 2022, but may now be delayed due to political pushback.

South Korea has recently taken many measures to regulate the crypto market, in a targeted effort against money laundering. According to The Korea Herald, all 25 exchanges reviewed according to the August guidelines were found to have “inadequate levels of preparedness” with none of them meeting all the registration requirements.


Iceland cuts power to new Bitcoin miners
Iceland’s power supply shortage from a power plant malfunction and low hydro-reservoir levels have forced the country’s power utility to reduce supply to Bitcoin miners.

National Iceland electrical company Landsvirkjun has cut the amount of power it will provide for some industries, including aluminium smelters and Bitcoin miners.

A representative from the island’s power utility reported it has been forced to reduce energy allocations to southwestern Bitcoin miners and various industrial facilities due to a series of issues including a problem at a power station, low hydro-reservoir levels and accessing energy from an external supplier.

Mining operations have long been attracted to the country due to its abundance of geothermal energy which is harvested to create a cheap and plentiful supply of renewable energy. But from Dec. 7 for an unknown period of time, any new requests for electricity from mining operations will be rejected, according to Landsvirkjun.

Canada’s Hive Blockchain Technologies, Genesis Mining, and Bitfury Holding are the three main Bitcoin mining companies that have opened facilities in Iceland.

For nearly a decade, miners have tried to realize the promise of environmentally-friendly Bitcoin mining in Iceland. In 2013, Cloud Hashing moved 100 miners to Iceland. In November of 2017, Austrian company HydroMiner GmbH raised about $2.8 million in its initial coin offering (ICO) to install mining rigs directly at Icelandic power plants.

Less than 1% of the country’s electricity is generated from non-renewable sources.

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