Australia moves to regulate bitcoin under counter-terrorism finance laws

Regulation | August 9, 2016 By:

Australia is moving to regulate digital currencies such as bitcoin under its anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australia’s financial intelligence agency, released a report in which it posited that “electronic, online and new payment methods” are posing an emerging terrorism financing risk.

“Terrorist groups engaged in radicalization, recruitment and communication online (such as through social media) are a particularly high risk of using online payments systems and digital currencies,” the agency said in its report.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, this week AUSTRAC is co-hosting a counter-terrorism financing summit with Indonesia in Bali. At the summit, Justice Minister Michael Keenan is planning on informing those in attendance of the work Australia is committed to doing when it comes to improving its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws as it works toward regulating digital currencies.

“The report … recommends strengthening an already robust legal framework to respond to new and emerging threats. The government is committed to facilitating growth and innovation in this sector and appropriate anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing regulation will aid that development,” said Keenan.