Bitcoin flounders in Australia as regulatory worries bite

* Australian banks closed accounts of 13 bitcoin exchanges

* Businesses wary of currency’s potential crime links

* Australia estimated to hold 7 percent of bitcoin’s global

By Byron Kaye and Swati Pandey

SYDNEY, Oct 4 (Reuters) – Australian businesses are turning
their backs on bitcoin, as signs grow that the cryptocurrency’s
mainstream appeal is fading.

Concerns about bitcoin’s potential crime links mean many
businesses have stopped accepting it, a trend accelerated by
Australian banks’ move last month to close the accounts of 13 of
the country’s 17 bitcoin exchanges.

The development is a blow to hopes of bitcoin fans that the
currency can play a significant role in everyday business
transactions in developed economies, with Australia once seen as
one of its most promising markets. It is estimated to hold 7
percent of the currency’s $3.5 billion global value, a sizeable
figure in a country of just 24 million people.

“We’ve got a squeaky clean reputation, and that’s actually
worth a lot more to us than dipping into this,” said James
Snodgrass, principal of Sydney’s Forsyth Real Estate, which
ditched the currency in late 2014 after the firm was
investigated by the federal tax

Read more ... source: TheBitcoinNews