| Mr. Crowd News |  Market
Australia moves to regulate cryptocurrencies
By Mr. Crowd 18 Aug 201721:38
Australia’s justice minister Michael Keenan
In light of a recent wake of a financial scandal involving the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia’s biggest bank, digital currencies such as bitcoin are going to be regulated and Australia’s anti-money laundering laws are to be strengthened as new legislation being put in place.
Earlier this month, Austrac, Australia’s financial crime fighting agency, initiated a civil legal action against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for alleged breaches of laws on money laundering and the financing of terrorism, where CBA was accused of more than 50,000 breaches of existing legislation. Reforms of the law would bolster the enforcement and investigation powers of Austrac.
“Stopping the movement of money to criminals and terrorists is a vital part of our national security defences and we expect regulated businesses in Australia to comply with our comprehensive regime,” said Michael Keenan, Australia’s justice minister. He also made sure that the new regulations would not hinder legitimate financial sectors while enabling authorities to deal with the financing of terrorism and the threat of organised crime. Regulatory relief will be provided annually to industry through the deregulation of low-risk industry sectors.
Putting cryptocurrencies under regulation by Australia’s authorities follows a similar move by Japan. Under new rules introduced by Japan, cryptocurrencies exchanges or money transfer businesses that are in operation must be under regulatory supervision of the Japan Financial Services Agency by October 1st, 2017.
Japan’s decision to regulate bitcoin can be related to the 2014 bankruptcy of Mt Gox, the world’s cryptocurrencies exchange at that time. At today’s price, almost $3.5 billion worth of bitcoins disappeared before Mt Gox’s demise. By regulating bitcoin, Japan became the first national government to officially recognize bitcoin as a legal method of payment.
With Australia’s move to regulate cryptocurrencies, it further reinforce the legitimacy of bitcoin as a legal method of payment. Are the other national governments going to follow suit?
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