Following moves by China and Japan to regulate digital currencies, Australia is attempting to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing with plans to regulate bitcoin exchanges.
“The threat of serious financial crime is constantly evolving, as new technologies emerge and criminals seek to nefariously exploit them. These measures ensure there is nowhere for criminals to hide,” said Australia’s Minister for Justice Michael Keenan in a press release.
The Australian government proposed a set of reforms on Thursday which will close a gap in regulation and bring digital currency exchange providers under the remit of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
These exchanges serve as marketplaces where traders can buy and sell digital currencies, such as bitcoin, using fiat currencies, such as the dollar.
Bitcoin has grown massively this year. The market cap has increased to $73.93 billion and the price recently hit fresh record highs. It currently trades at $4,476 and the price has risen 348 percent year to date.
The reform bill is intended to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of AUSTRAC.