Australian government doesn’t seem all too happy with the recent surge in demand of cryptocurrencies and has now proposed a law to include jail time for cryptocurrency related offences.
Coindesk reported that a draft bill has already been submitted in the Australian parliament. It offers details into the new regulations that are being proposed to curb the use of cryptocurrencies for “money laundering” crimes.
Now money laundering has a very wide meaning. Some would say even the concept of cryptocurrency itself is money laundering since banking channels are being avoided and an anonymous transactions source is being used to transfer funds peer-to-peer. So the term is vague and can even be applied to ordinary citizens trying to make dealings on bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
This money laundering allegation is probably just to rile up the legislators and force them to vote on this. Under this law, if passed, it would see all cryptocurrency exchanges registered with the government. All the exchanges would be required to register with the notorious Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), Australia’s premier financial intelligence machinery.
In the event of any illegal cryptocurrency exchange operations, offenders will face not only hefty fines but also extensive jail times up to $100,000! Repeat offenders may be forced to pay up to $400,000.
These figures are simply outrageous and shows deep mistrust of the government machinery against the currencies of the future. Furthermore, it may take up to 180 days for an exchange to register in the country and would require at least a rubber stamp from the intelligence agency. Failing to do so will cancel the operations of the exchange in the country. No wonder Coinbase and others are really nervous about this business.
Governments are naturally afraid that cryptocurrencies are eating into the space of their national banking institutions and currency. In many parts of USA, it is already mandatory to give your real address on crypto wallets and register with the government.
These things will only get worse as time goes by. I hope this bill doesn’t pass in the parliament at least with these extremely harsh provisions. Australia is only going backwards by resisting the advances of cryptocurrency.
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