Australia Cracks Down On Bitcoin Exchanges; Shrugs Off Banks' "Systemic" Money-Laundering Violations

Tyler Durden's picture

Australian Government Is Cracking Down On The Nonexistent Bitcoin Money-Laundering Epidemic

Australia’s largest banks can’t seem to go six months without a new scandal. In April, regulators accused Commonwealth Bank, one of the country’s largest financial institutions, of “systemic” money laundering violations, sparking an investigation into the broader banking sector, and the promise of heavy-handing civil penalties.

But instead of pursuing penalties that could lead to lasting reforms, Australia's regulators are cracking down on bitcoin, creating a new set of guidelines that will make it more difficult for customers to trade on local cryptocurrency exchanges by mandating needless anti-money laundering controls. They're prioritizing bitcoin over banks even though all relevant data suggest that organized criminal enterprises and terrorist groups overwhelmingly prefer to transact in cash.

According to, Australia’s Coalition Government has introduced a bill that would regulate digital currency exchanges, introducing “reforms” that will “strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (Austrac).”  

Here’s with more:

"Among other proposals, the bill will “strengthen Austrac’s investigation and enforcement powers” as well as “close a regulatory gap by bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of Austrac,” the announcement reads, adding that:


‘The bill provides a net regulatory relief to industry of $36 million annually, with the digital currency exchange sector being regulated for the first time, while deregulating low-risk industries such as cash-in-transit, which is already subject to state and territory licensing requirements.’”

As explains, Australia’s new AML rules resemble regulations adopted by Japan and China over the past 18 months. In China, the crackdown on intraday high frequency trading triggered a decline in trading volume that caused the country to surrender its position as the bitcoin market leader.

“Earlier this year, following investigations by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), many Chinese bitcoin exchanges halted bitcoin withdrawals to extensively upgrade their systems for the purpose of AML and KYC compliance. Also the European Union has been discussing how to impose rules on bitcoin exchanges as part of its Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive.”

Meanwhile, in what looks like an effort to compensate bitcoin traders for the overly stringent new regulations, Australia ended the double taxation treatment of bitcoin in July.

To be sure, some of the country’s lawmakers have come out as vociferously pro-bitcoin. Two senators issued a proposal to make bitcoin an official currency in Australia, something they say would boost the country’s financial competitiveness. Indeed, this legal maneuver would bring Australia one step closer to recognizing bitcoin’s value as a reserve asset. Recently, a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin began building network of bitcoin miners with the aim of expanding the country’s hashing power to more than 30% of the network’s total. Any entity that controls more than 50% of the bitcoin network’s mining capabilities has de facto control of the network.

Here’s a quick summary of what the bill will do, courtesy of Australia’s Ministry of Justice:

Close a regulatory gap by bringing digital currency exchange providers under the remit of AUSTRAC:

Strengthen AUSTRAC's investigation and enforcement powers.

Increase police and customs officers' search and seizure powers at the border.

Provide regulatory relief to industry through the deregulation of low-risk industry sectors.

The crackdown comes amid another big week for bitcoin: The digital currency climbed 16.5% to new record highs at around $4400. This is the 5th weekly rise in a row (and BTC is up 86% since the fork).

The full press release is available below:

* * *
The Coalition Government has today announced the first stage of reforms to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The reforms implement the first phase of the recommendations of the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, following extensive consultation with industry and our national security agencies.

These reforms appropriately balance the threat of organised crime and terrorism financing to the Australian community with ensuring excessive regulation doesn't hinder our financial sectors.

The Bill provides net regulatory relief to industry of $36 million annually, with the digital currency exchange sector being regulated for the first time, while deregulating low-risk industries such as cash-in-transit, which is already subject to state and territory licensing requirements.

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.

Stopping the movement of money to criminals and terrorists is a vital part of our national security defences and we expect regulated businesses in Australia to comply with our comprehensive regime. AUSTRAC has a strong track record in ensuring our financial institutions comply with the law.

The private sector is an essential partner in ensuring Australian businesses are not exploited by criminals, and I thank industry for their constructive engagement during the development of this Bill. Engagement with industry is the bedrock of our money-laundering and terrorism-financing deterrence.

The AUSTRAC-hosted Fintel Alliance, launched by Minister Keenan in March 2017, is a world-first private-public partnership to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Through the Fintel Alliance, industry and government agencies co-design solutions that will transform the fight against terrorism financing and organised crime.

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Manthong's picture


…and so it begins


Son of Loki's picture

Mainlander Chinese love laundering their LOOT in Australia and NZ. Why do you think a crappy 2-bedroom condo in Darling Harbor 9Sydney) is $1.4 million.

tmosley's picture

Peanutz think this will kill bitcoin.

This is because they are only capable of thinking in ways that confirm their own biases.

AtATrESICI's picture

I thought that you might like the video below. So check it out.

Blame it on MT.GOX

wee-weed up's picture



Yep! Digital currency is a threat to every gov't's fiat.

They will find a way to destroy it.

Poof! It's gone...

booboo's picture

here we go again with the pictures of shiney gold coins representing Bitcoin when in reality it's just

The central planners's picture

Its digital gold or Fake gold.

Justin Case's picture

Gold is real unencumbered money with no third party liability. The bitcoins are proxies for real money like the USD. They can let BTC run, just shut down the exchanges that convert BTC to FRNs, because those belong to the FED and you must follow their rules to play with their money. So the exchanges can pay you out in BTC tokens.

Not sure what you can do wit dem after.

We'll see what's cooking soon.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"Not sure what you can do wit dem after."

I can exchange mine for $ off blockchain, off internet.......

The_Juggernaut's picture

After the value crashes due to the exchanges being shut down, at what rate will you exchange them, and who will want them?

Son of Thor's picture

I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do…

kochevnik's picture

Gold value represents energy required to extract from bowels of Earth. Same with bitcoin. Typing number into counterfeiting Jew mafia laptop requires no energy. Hence, you are incorrect

kochevnik's picture

The government can only pay MSM troll army to make propaganda while stealing everything for it's Bolshevik masters. Government cannot achieve anything because they operate on bribes and pay-to-play

AtATrESICI's picture

I think blockchain has great potential as software not digital money...But the govs will surly fuck that up as well. When blockchain software is treated as childporn content is now only folks like California deputy attorney general (Raymond Liddy) will possess blockchain. WTF

Al Gophilia's picture

Yes, but to tie things together for you, this is a Prime Minister who is the ex top dog of ......  can you guess?....

Clue.... (((Goldman Sachs))). These heathen (((bankers))) are ensconced like junkie squatters in every government with a (((central bank))).

Vile (((globalist))) dogs.

This scumbag Malcolm Turnbull is a lapdog of the British royals, the ***Windsors*** .

Asterix is to highlight the paedophilia practices of an individual or group. Just made that a rule for grammatical correctness; eg ***Pedesta***. 

Zero Point's picture

Turnbulls son is STILL a Vampire Squid director.

zebra77a's picture

People are not getting it, please allow me to present possibilities that once they emerge, will be almost impossible to stop.

A. Crypto is Unregulatable / Untrackable / Untaxable.

B. Crypto (Bitcoin) in particular has $40 billion in equity and is watching a exponential inflow of capital.

C. At the current exponential inflow rate into bitcoin within 24 months bitcoin will have a market cap greater than Amazon.  

D. To Accomplish this, in order for Bitcoin to 'absorb' $150-1,200 BILLION in fiat exchange it must grow to a value of $75,000 - $2,000,000 percoin.. Bitcoin will become one of the largest gains in wealth in history.. Unless the G8 central banks enact a concerted multi-national effort to stop it now! The other option is a banking freeze because of a large false flag.. 

E. I like bullet lists, it gets people in cankles.. jolly good show!

Of course everyone talks about 'when the money comes back'  and the federal regulators hope to catch them at that point - however there is the 'BlackBox event horizon where people transfer to to bitcoin, and leave there money in bitcoin.. trade in bitcoin, grow in bitcoin, they do not NEED fiat any longer.  The crypto is offshore and stays offshore, never needing a fiat exchange of tracking. Once the bitcoin 'Crypto Freemen' come onto the scene and begin to share their 'freed lifestyle of growth' with everyone will further feed into the vortex for 'Immunity Coins'

And Japan is a great point 115,000 outlets accept bitcoin that can have a untraceable origin, not to include that the Chinese are already transacting Vancourver houses in offshore Chinese exchanges.



DjangoCat's picture

The bitcoin economy will have to be underground, because there will be slim to none legal outlets for crypto currency.  Italy would be the ideal test market for Bitcoin, so black market.

The centralist want to abolish cash and get all transactions electronic and traceable.

Bitcoin, or its ilk, goes around this grip, and provides free exchange anywhere.  This freedom does not imply criminality, although if you make a law abolishing freedom, then bitcoin transactions become illegal.

The money laundering story is a blind, a ruse. The major banks, casinos, art markets, housing development, you fill in the blank, serve as the main avenues for black money, as they have done for eons before.  Suddenly, bitcoin has arrived and taken over the market?  I don't think so.  Bitcoin is a change for the better, and branding it and us as criminal money launderers is libelous.

The reaction is understandable.  Bitcoin is an existential threat to the banking community.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

Its my feeling the more they try to suppress BTC the more value it will become....

jaxville's picture

   Actually bitcoin fits the "no cash" narrative quite well.  You are deluded if you think government agencies cannot access the amount of bitcoin you hold and any transactions you have made with it.  It still floors me to see how many people take bitcoin seriously when we don't even know exactly where it came from and who (or what) created it.

  A new chapter to an old book.....Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds

GotGalt's picture

I don't know how well bitcoin would do underground since there are already other cryptos out there that do a much better job transacting down there than bitcoin.  Say, Monero for example.  I think bitcoin will stay above ground in the light and figure out a way to peacefully co-exist with the powers that be.

AtATrESICI's picture

I have news for all of the blockchain haters if the Owners destroy the technology as software not a store of monetary value it will be a true blow to the little people's internet privacy and ability to fight off censorship.

Justin Case's picture

the little people's internet privacy

There is none. Everyone is naked on the net. VPNs are a fig leaf. Even Apple's super duper encrypted fones gave info to the Gov't when push comes to shove.

AtATrESICI's picture

Agreed...Funny people think that they come into the house that Big Brother has constructed for CCC command, control, and communications and they have privacy. That thinking would be laughable if it was not pathetic beyond words.

Sorry, Internet privacy. hahahaha. Get TOR so you can become under active investigation. Not you Justin Case. ..

kochevnik's picture

You are correct Internet was developed by TPTB. But spinnoff technology made means-end reversal. For example CERN needed communication with images, so invented WWW. Then software floated into personal use, and open source means infinite customization. So as usual government creates instrument of it's own obsolescence and demise. As for your top-down Orwellian view, I would say the top are no more intelligent than most posters here. They were born into power and so would quickly perish on the street. They are addicted to their trappings and toys, and any addict is easy prey

AtATrESICI's picture

Please let me change the above statement "little people's internet privacy and ability to fight off censorship" to little people's potential to combat censorship in a very small way. The censorship assertion can be debunked as well. Sorry for the grandstanding, I was deluding myself theorizing about software (getting high on the supply). Justin Case is more than 100% correct about no internet privacy on the gov's net. More than that it seems doubtful that any way will be developed by the little people to find any privacy in the near future if ever with the current TPTB. Regular folk need to find contentment in the Orwellian state. /not joking

AtATrESICI's picture

I think you underestimate what the people who run the show are capable of. If they keep beating the drum of terrorism and money laundering the mass of peanuts could cry out for a prohibition of all blockchain software. After all what kind of assholes fund terrorism with laundered money as this is the domain of fuckstick governments and those that control governments. For example they could create a law that treated any blockchain software and client software (wallets and the alike) as the equivalent to child porn. In my thinking if something like that happened most peanutz would not fuck with the technology. Note your ISP can see what ports are being used to transmit data and use said information to find people running prohibited blockchain software. Governments could also setup transaction servers vaguely like what they do with exit nodes on the TOR network, the outcome of finding users would be very similar.

My personal opinion is that the money laundering and funding terrorism by cryptos is total bullshit as governments in conjunction with large multinational corporations the ones mainly behind the drug traffickers, terror, and money launderers.

kochevnik's picture

They have no game, only tired century old script

Got The Wrong No's picture

tmosley, You must be a Peanutz then. Your bias has made you think Bitcoin is invincible. 

AtATrESICI's picture

tmosley is like the Jim Jones of Cryptos and he is attempting to use ZH to find those who will catch the last flight to Guyana.

robertocarlos's picture

It's hotter than hell this summer and we could use some refreshing Kool-Aid.

Mustafa Kemal's picture

"tmosley is like the Jim Jones of Cryptos and he is attempting to use ZH to find those who will catch the last flight to Guyana."

Oh shit,  I am on that plane and Im so scared!

AtATrESICI's picture

One must follow the time tested wealth preservation strategy of Satoshi "Red Shield" Nakamoto seen below...What Could Possibly Go Wrong???

32% of net worth scratch off lottery tickets
31% of net worth in tracks, strolls, and trap corners/houses
30% of net worth Malt liquor and Rhinestone Encrusted scepters.

Wealth preservation for the ages mother fuckers.

Satoshi "Red Shield" Nakamoto Wealth Transfer/Accruement Systems Corporation of Mons Huygens... all rights reserved my niggers...
We are the kings of this shit homeboy...Don't forget that ©

kochevnik's picture

So explain Vegas. Many people live there for entire years

AtATrESICI's picture

Cyanide and Diazepam proof too?

AtATrESICI's picture

Hey Jim,

Perhaps you will find the below video and lyric even more inline with your thinking...Everyone else can find a good laugh or that the lyrics may have an unintended subtext.

My 2 favorite lines are below

1. " You can find me trading crypto / By the bench in the park" ... Yes we are back at the truckstop or in the park trading cryptos for value when the doors are closed on the banking system.

2. " Roll a paper wallet and blaze" ... at least with a paper wallet you can use that shit to help start a fire...That is one good thing I guess.

HODL Video

HODL full lyrics: Yo, im about to hodl it down / We aint fuckin around Bitcoins going up and bitches going down Check out the stats / Check out these charts Roll a paper wallet and blaze like Rassss clart Fuck litecoins / this shit is to dark You can find me trading crypto / By the bench in the park I don’t give a fuck /Chilling , in my truck Killing all the Bears /and I stash um in the trunk / Straight to the moon /Flyer like a tie fighter Im going all in / you treat it like a one nighter In 5 years time / I spit a line / saying I told you And now I own you / like a bitch I fold you Your a bum /with ya homies / begging for sotoshis Im in the benz/ with bitcoin bitches / on me We nerve stop grinding / im rhyming/ Im stylin/ Im shining / im mining for the digital diamonds YO Its time to.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl You better..Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl You gotta.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl Don’t stop.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl You only holdin fiat, what the fuck is this Take down some notes to add to your bucket list I’m not kiddin, you need to stay on top of this Hodl that shit yourself, do yourself a service Centralised wallet, dont be a hypocrite Find yourself broke, you wont see the bottom hit History repeats itself, unless you change up Satoshi gave us code, now he switched the game up Im laughin with my stash, no i cant stop You on the same corner, you in the same spot It just keeps rising, keeps goin to the top, Why you tryin to buy in now, prayin for a drop You should listened back then you coulda had a whole block See it in your eyes shock, just flipped your last rock Cant afford shoes no more, time to move to bedrock Its too late to save yourself now, here come the feds knock Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl Its time to.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl Make sure you.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl Don’t stop.. Hodl hodl hodl hodl Hodl hodl hodl hodl Chilling, checking out my 4k/ ledger hanging from platinum chain all day/ this shits insane like my block chain / we the future , cyrpto kidz killing it blazing the way. Yo brother, roll me another time to get lit Man! I'm like SHA-256 that's why they call me the champ You still trust in fiat/ that's why they call you the chump acting like you know shit on the forums when the price starts to jump Iv been trading for years you been trading for months. You act like a bitch thinking the feds are gonna call Yo fuck the feds they can't arrest us all. Now take this alphabay spliff and spark it young wild and free like the digital black market / In 2017 we HODL/ 2022 we pop bottles with crypto models / booking tickets / virgin galactic shuttle / going straight to the moon mother fuckers!

HRClinton's picture

The (((Cartel of Banksters))) isn't the least bit opposed to "money laundering", as long as it is (((their currency))) that's being used.

They do not tolerate competition to their (((global Ponzi))) from anyone, no matter the scale, type or location. 

To defy (((them))), keep using the Parallel Economy:  Barter, Cash, Crypto, PM.

raybies's picture

So it's not bcos Aussies are just one trick ponny dumb?

Advoc8tr's picture

Nah .. you don't understand the modern Australian. They absolutely cream themselves at any opportunity to ban or tax something for 'your own good'  the Rugged individuals of years gone are a mythical creature confined to the vast expansive interior where no man goes.

Being regulated will cause MORE Australians to embrace Bitcoin ... they can't resist a government sanctioned opportunity which they can reconcile with their howls of entitlement to be made whole should their investment fail.

None of this shit matters anyway.  The P2P exchanges are rolling out with several already active and if you have all your capital in crypto-assets already then there is little need to convert to fiat or expose yourself to an Australian based centralized exchange.

Can't see it, can't tax it, can't steal it.   Not as simple as directing your bank to freeze all your accounts :)

DjangoCat's picture

They can and do squeeze the fiat exchange.  Hard to get in or out.  I agree, time to move or it will be too late.


Bye now.

PrezTrump's picture

Stupid kangaroos think they can regulate Bitcoin.  Go felate a muslim head chopper!

PrezTrump's picture


Midas's picture

What are they scared of?  Some say BTC is a beanie baby like fad.  Central banks don't agree.

imbrbing's picture

Exactly. What government ever cared about "beanie babies"?



AtATrESICI's picture

Okay help me to get this straight . Why was the transistor invented ? Why was the IC invented ? Why was the internet invented ? Who mainly funded the development of the tcp/ip stack and first deployed it ? All of the items above are here so dumb fucks can watch cat videos and buy useless shit from companies that do not make an actual profit with "INTERNET GOLD THAT IS PURELY CYBERNETIC AND CONCEIVED BY SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT EXIST???" This so called "INTERNET GOLD" is mined using tech that was build off of the tech cited above.DECENTRALIZED... RIGHT...

zebra77a's picture

Clintons spent 5 years negotiating a shutdown of piratebay that stopped them for 24hrs good luck with that..
Offshore exchamges in 3..2..1

Justin Case's picture

So you'll download yoar money?
Gov't shouldn't even get involved with piracy. Let the corporations protect their property. There are processes available through the legal system. Why tax payer's money for enforcing a corporate patent? Let them do the work for their copy rights. We have a legal system in place, use it.