Australia To Legalise and Regulate Bitcoin

Australia is ready to regulate virtual currency exchanges with Bitcoin in mind, which they believe will help to strengthen the powers of its financial intelligence agency AUSTRAC as it cracks down on money laundering and terrorism financing.

This development came two weeks after AUSTRAC took the country’s biggest bank, the Commonwealth, to court for alleged “serious and systemic non-compliance” of money laundering and terror financing laws.

This is a similar reform by Japan, after the country found itself at the point of a multi-million dollar embezzlement scandal following the collapse of the Tokyo-based MtGox Bitcoin exchange.

The following statement was made by Justice Minister Michael Keenan on Thursday. “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,” 

He also mentioned that the digital currency exchange sector was being regulated for the first time, while low-risk industries such as cash-in-transit would be subject to fewer regulations.

Since Bitcoin was launched in 2009, virtual currency has grown rapidly with more than 100 crypto-currency options at the moment, even though the sector has suffered from highly publicised scandals like the 2014 collapse of MtGox.

Most cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe virtual currencies offer an efficient and anonymous way to store and transfer funds online while critics feel the absence of a legal framework governing the currency, the nontransparent way it is traded and its volatility, makes it threatening.

What are your own thoughts about cryptocurrency and do you think countries beginning to adopt the regulation process will bring improvement or disaster? Let's view your thoughts in the comment section below.

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