Digital currencies such as bitcoin are attractive for terrorism financing, according to Australia’s financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, which is calling for them to regulate it under its anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.
A report published by AUSTRAC, Terrorism financing in Australia 2014, stated that terrorism financing was turning its attention to electronic and online payment methods, which is likely to rise over time.
The report said:
Terrorist groups engaged in radicalisation, recruitment and communication online (such as through social media) are a particularly high risk of using online payments systems and digital currencies.
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.
Misuse of Bitcoin
It hasn’t been smooth sailing for bitcoin since its arrival.
In 2014, the defunct Toyko-based Mt. Gox halted trading after 850,000 bitcoins went missing,