It seems the Aussie government is finally warming to bitcoin.
Depending on your point of view, that could be a bullish sign. Or it might mean it’s time to get out and run for the hills.
The first bit of news was a quietly introduced bill that would end double-taxation on bitcoin and other currencies. Today, Aussies are hit with GST whenever they buy or sell bitcoin. You’re slugged on both sides of the transaction.
Australian cryptocurrency enthusiasts have long criticised this double tax. And it seems that the government has finally taken notice. If the bill passes both houses, GST will no longer affect you at the time of purchase. You’ll only be taxed when you sell.
Perhaps that’s a statement of faith in the future of bitcoin and other cryptos. If the government prefers to tax you when you sell rather than buy, it’s likely they expect the price to head higher. Meaning they’ll be taxing larger amounts, as bitcoin users sell. If the government expected bitcoin to collapse, surely they would extract their pound of flesh as early as possible!
But an end to double taxation wasn’t the only positive note for bitcoin this week.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science released a paper about their strategies to encourage the digital economy in Australia. Blockchain, the tech behind bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, was a topic of discussion.
The paper refers to the blockchain as an ‘emerging technology’. Possibly true. But Sam Volkering, our resident cryptocurrency expert, might argue that the blockchain was an emerging technology half a decade ago. Or more. That was when he began writing about it. But let’s give the government some credit for finally catching on. In their own words, ‘The Treasury and CSIRO’s Data61 have undertaken a review to examine distributed ledger technology’s general potential and its implications for government and industry.’
Better late than never. But even now, cryptocurrencies are moving beyond their first generation. Bitcoin and the first wave of imitators have seen incredible gains. But new cryptos are appearing, and not all of them are simply imitating bitcoin as an alternative currency.
Some of the most exciting new cryptos are using blockchain technology for entirely different applications. Sam argues that it could be these which see the greatest gains. His latest special report looks at a newer crypto that could bring you gains 40 times greater than bitcoin. You can learn how here.
This week in Money Morning
Ryan opened the week with a look at how oil prices can drive interest rates.
With most financial commenters convinced that rates will stay down for at least the next two years, an unexpected shift could catch many Aussies off guard. And it may not be as unlikely as many think. For Ryan’s explanation of how changing oil prices could have a knock-on effect on interest rates, and how you could hedge against it, click here.
Are you reading this article on a smartphone? A decade ago that would have been unlikely. Two decades ago, you wouldn’t have understood the term. Smartphones have revolutionised how we consume information and media, as well as how we communicate. Large parts of that revolution are thanks to Apple and its iPhones. And along the way, the iPhone has helped make Apple one of the most influential companies in consumer tech.
So what does the release of the latest model iPhone this week mean for you? On Tuesday, Ryan argued that the best opportunities may not be in Apple itself, but in the companies that will benefit from Apple’s decisions. To read how, check out Tuesday’s article here.
The price of gold has been headed up lately, and seems to have broken out of its seven year downtrend. Many are putting this down to a ‘flight to safety’, as the US dollar is shook by recent events. But on Wednesday Ryan argued that it’s not just flaring tensions with North Korea, or chaotic politics in Washington. He explained that the rise in gold is part of a larger trend. One that could see it reach record highs in 2018. Read why here.
On Thursday Ryan looked at a giant of US industry, whose performance is often used as a barometer for how the whole economy is going.
The company’s profits have been hit by a cyber-attack and by the hurricanes in the US Gulf States this year. But Ryan took a deeper look at its performance figures. And he believes that, once you look past these once-off events, you find what could be a strong buy signal for the US market. Read the details here.
Back home in Australia, the Commonwealth Bank fired off a barrage of announcements this week. After being plagued with scandals and bad press this year, the announced changes could be seen as an attempt to ‘clean house’.
If you missed the Commonwealth Bank’s very public embarrassment this year, you can catch up here.
On Friday’s Ryan discussed whether this will be enough to turn things around for the Commonwealth Bank. With advancements in financial tech threatening the major banks’ profits, none of them can afford to alienate the public. Especially now that that one competitor is forming an alliance with the ‘enemy’. You can find the details in Friday’s article, here. And if you’d like to read more about the new financial technologies that could soon threaten the banks, check out our tech editor’s Secret Crypto Network, here.
Editor, Money Weekend