Australia will be one of the first countries to regulate bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies under the guise of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.
The proposal comes following the release of a report from the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (AUSTRAC) that argues 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 report claims (pdf).
“While digital currencies have undoubted legitimate uses, the transfer of convertible digital currencies can occur without passing through the formal financial sector…this provides another tool for criminals and terrorist financers to move and store illicit funds beyond the reach of law enforcement and other authorities and purchase illicit goods and services,” the reported added.
While providing no hard evidence of bitcoin use in