Australia and Japan Move Towards Bitcoin Regulation. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have become a very important factor in the international financial market and because of that, they have also become instruments that could be easily used for money-laundering and other illegal activities. Because of that, more and more countries all over the world are introducing new regulations and legislation’s in order to regulate the market of digital or cryptocurrencies.
The latest two countries that have decided to move in that directions are Japan and Australia and the government officials from both countries have said that the reason for introducing the new regulations for this aspect is the fact that they want to prevent money-laundering and other criminal activities conducted through the use of these crypto currencies.
Regulations in Australia
Regulating the market of cryptocurrencies is just one part of the effort that Australian government has been conducting in order to strengthen their anti-money laundering laws. New regulations are not only reserved to digital currencies but they will encompass the entire financial market but digital currencies will have a huge place in those regulations.
Not that long ago, Australian biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia has been involved in a huge scandal when it was revealed that criminals have used Bank’s cash machines in order to launder more than $35 million. The biggest problem was the fact that the officials from the Bank were aware of the irregularities and they still failed to react and report the money-laundering that was happening in their bank.
Because of that, the Australian government has decided to strengthen their policies about this issue and digital currencies will be a huge part of making sure that those kinds of actions no longer appear. The Australian government has decided that the control of digital currencies will be transferred to Australia’s financial crime fighting agency or Austrac.
Besides that, the investigative and enforcing powers of Austrac have been increased as well and the first results of the new regulations are seen in the civil legal actions that Austrac has taken against Commonwealth Bank of Australia due to the illegal actions of the Bank in the money-laundering scandal.
Australian justice minister, Michael Keenan, has been the main advocate for these regulations and he said that the new regulations will be a crucial part of the national security and that he expects that all involved in the business of cryptocurrencies will comply with the new regulations. Otherwise, the punishments will be severe.
Besides that, Michael Keenan has also said that police and customs officers operating at the borders will have bigger powers with the introduction of these new regulations as a part of the country’s effort to enforce stricter regulations as a part of their anti money-laundering and counter-terrorism actions.
Regulations in Japan
Australia was not the only country that decided to take these kinds of measures in order to impose bigger control of the digital currency markets. Australia’s neighbors, Japan, has also announced that they will also be imposing similar regulations and that will be the first time ever that a Japanese government has decided to tackle the issue of digital currencies of cryptocurrencies.
Japan’s government has just recently recognized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as legal methods of payment in the country but with that recognition came regulations that significantly regulated the entire market of digital currencies. Japan’s new regulations have imposed the rules that the entire market of digital currencies will be controlled by the Japan Financial Services Agency starting from October 1 of this year.
Government’s officials have said that they understand that the financial market has stepped away from the traditional currencies and that they will follow the latest trend in that field but that market needs to be regulated just like any other currency in the world.
In 2014, official Tokyo found themselves in serious problems as one of the biggest digital currency exchange Mt Gox bankrupted due to the bad business decisions and illegal actions by individuals that ran the company. At that moment, more than 850,000 Bitcoins disappeared from Mt Gox right before the company bankrupted. In today’s and traditional currencies, the worth of that amount of Bitcoins is more than $3.5 billion.
Just like Australia, Japan has also realized that the market of digital currencies needs to be regulated only after the huge scandal broke out with the companies that provide those services. Because of that and in order to prevent similar things to happen in the future, the governments of both countries have decided to put an end to illegal actions involving cryptocurrencies by introducing new and much tougher regulations for the market of digital currencies.