Bitcoin Could Badly Spoil Australia’s Cash Payment Crackdown Plan
The Aussie government will soon introduce a cash-limit system that incidentally will make it easier for small crypto transactions to go undetected. | Source: (i) Shutterstock (ii) Shutterstock; Edited by CCN
By CCN: Bitcoin is a lousy tool to launder million and billions worth of cash. But the same cannot be said about a mere $6,989, as not noted by Malcolm Turnbull.
The former Australian Prime Minister led his office to launch a crackdown on cash-in-hand payments. The liberal government in May 2018 proposed to modify the anti-money laundering bill with a cash spending threshold of A$10,000, a U.S. dollar equivalent of $6,989. They argued that a dollar-value cap would limit the “opportunities to under-report income, charge lower prices, and underpay GST,” adding that the crackdown would eventually raise “billions of extra dollars” for the national treasury.
The economy-wide cash payment limit eventually received a parliamentarian nod. It is now set to become a law, effective July 1.
Despite their good intentions, the Australian government cannot guarantee a full-fledged success for their cash-limit program, especially when alternative solutions like bitcoin are emerging on the sideways. The anonymity, speed, and reachability at which the decentralized payment network operates have made them attractive to both criminals and terrorists. BTC-e, for instance, facilitated $4 billion of criminal proceedings during its six years of running an unregulated crypto exchange. The 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, sponsored by the North Korean government, received ransom payments in cryptocurrencies worth more than $140,000.
Of course, those were high-profile cases. But that is the exact thing which made it easier for agencies to trace them.