22 September, AtoZForex.com, Lagos – Australia’s major banks have taken steps to close accounts of bitcoin companies. Eventually this led to a shut down of more than 13 digital currency providers. This shake up is a result of more stringent rules on money laundering and terrorism in finance.
On the global scene, banks are closing down sectors that have difficulty with the complying of regulatory standards. As they come under pressure from regulators to meet stringent anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financial rules.
Speaking on the current situation of the industry, a Westpac spokesman said: “The current bitcoin operating model requires very tough compliance and assurance requirements to ensure we meet the high standards required under anti-money laundering regulations”.
Australian digital currency commerce association survey
The Australian digital currency commerce association (ADCCA) survey shows that seven percent of the world’s $5 billion worth of Bitcoin is circulation in Australia. In response to this matter the commonwealth Bank of Australia has declined to comment. Meanwhile, the National Australia bank, the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group have delayed their response.
According to an Australian Digital currency commerce association(ADCCA) spokesman: “Bit Trade and Buyabitcoin were part of the 17 companies Banks sent letters to, informing them that their accounts would be closed, we continue to speak with banks to find a solution to the problem. ADCCA looks forward to guidance from the government as to how the situation can be resolved.”
Nevertheless, an Australian government inquiry said in August that as much as regulating digital needs to be up, it should also be treated as money and taxes. Hence, having it simplified for people who trade with digital currencies is a must.
Bitcoin developments will be monitored
A few months back, Westpac Banking corporation invested a concealed figure in an U.S start-up coinbase. The first of its kind by an Australian bank in the largely unregulated virtual currency. Hence, as the Australian major banks cut off Bitcoin, the timing is quite remarkable. Considering it comes just months after Westpac banking corporation became the last of the four Australia’s major banks to pull out of the remittances business, thereby reducing compliance risks.
The Westpac Banking corporation spokesman added, “we continue to monitor developments in bitcoin, including their regulation”. The move will be keenly felt among those that trade with the digital currencies.
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