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Australian Senate Hearings into Digital Currencies to Start Wednesday

(@southtopia) | Published on November 24, 2014 at 05:46 BST

The Australian Senate will hold its first hearing into cryptocurrencies this Wednesday morning (local time) from 08:30–12:30, as part of the Digital Currency Inquiry (DCI).

Representing the international community at the hearing will be Perianne Boring of the US Chamber of Digital Commerce (CDC), the trade association which has made a name for itself lobbying to educate and promote digital currency issues among US policy makers.

A live audio/video feed of proceedings will be available on the parliament's website, and the Senate has invited members of the public to submit their own questions via twitter (using hashtags #AusPolDCI, #DCIQA) for a special Q&A panel session featuring all witnesses from 11:30–12:30.

Local industry's chance to speak

The Senate Economics Committee, chaired by senator Sam Dastyari, has organized a number of other witnesses representing local and international interest groups to speak on a variety of regulatory, security and entrepreneurial issues.

They include futurist, tech entrepreneur and virtual reality pioneer Mark Pesce and senior lawyer Andrew Sommer.

Representing Australia's bitcoin industry will be Bitcoin Brisbane founder Lucas Cullen, chairman of the Australian Digital Currency Commerce Association (ADCCA) and Bit Trade Australia CEO Ron Tucker, and ABA Technology CEO and bitcoin ATM operator Chris Guzowski.

Regulation, economic impact and innovation

The inquiry's terms of reference state that the digital currency world will be examined with particular regard to developing an effective regulatory system.

Such regulation would hopefully find the most appropriate definition of digital currencies for tax purposes, promote competition and growth in the industry, ensure ongoing financial industry (both traditional and digital) stability, protect consumers and secure against illegal activity, and incorporate digital currencies into Australia's national security framework.

In addition, it will examine digital currency's impact on the Australian economy, particularly the payments, retail and banking sectors, and determine how Australia might take advantage of such technology to establish itself as a market leader in the field.

Wednesday's hearing is the first chance to raise potential issues for the inquiry to address before it closes submissions on Friday 28th November. According to a statement, further hearings are expected in Sydney and Canberra in February 2015.

Australian Senate image via Shutterstock

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