The Australian government believes it has honed in on the cause of increased organized crime. According to an (ACIC) report, bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are to blame. Officials in the country suggest cryptocurrency usage in organized crime has run rampant.
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The report clarified the government’s position: “The two key enabling technologies currently used to facilitate serious and organised crime are virtual currencies and encryption. Virtual currencies, such as bitcoin, are increasingly being used by serious and organised crime groups as they are a form of currency that can be sold anonymously online, without reliance on a central bank or financial institution to facilitate transactions.”
Cryptocurrency and Exchanges Facilitate Crime; Australia Crackdown
The Australian government further states that bitcoin exchanges are largely to blame. They do not have enough transparency and regulatory oversight, suggests Australian officials. In this sense, they are basically allowing all manner of crime to proliferate. Austrian justice minister Michael Keenan, states bitcoin can be traded anonymously and is significantly traded on international exchanges.
This information follows recent bill introduced by Australian politicians to regulate exchanges and altcoins. The bill is meant to help the Australian government fight terrorism. News.Bitcoin.com covered the story a few weeks ago;
This legislation is part of the country’s first stage of reforms “to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (Austrac),” according to the announcement. Austrac is the country’s financial intelligence agency responsible for anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing (CTF) regulations.
Betting Websites and Money Laundering
The Financial Magnates article also mentioned that government in Australia is concerned about online gaming/gambling sites. The ACIC reported stated these type of sites further facilitate organized crime. It wasn’t readily apparent how bitcoin played into this, except that cryptocurrency may be used for transactions on gambling sites. The site did mention that Australian authorities believe bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be causing a hike in human trafficking.
The site read, “Recently, a connection between cryptocurrencies and human trafficking was also established. As Bitcoin offers anonymity, there is an added difficulty in deciphering whether an advertisement is promoting consenting sex workers or victims coerced into slavery.”
Do you think Australia will eventually just outlaw bitcoin? What do you think about their opinion toward organized crime and bitcoin facilitating it? Let us know in the comments section below.
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