The war on cash continues to be a hot talking point in Australia, as a controversial bill to ban cash payments of over A$10,000 (US$6,900) was discussed in the Senate recently between regulators and government officials.
The proposed bill that has not yet passed as law, would make it illegal for Australians to make cash payments above A$10,000 for any goods and services, pushing them onto the use of electronic methods and impose two-year jail sentences with fines of up to A$25,200 (US$17,400) if they don’t comply.
Australia’s financial intelligence regulatory AUSTRAC has oversight of over 15,000 registered reporting entities which includes financial institutions, bullion dealers, digital currency providers, and gambling agencies. AUSTRAC provide a risk-based framework (AML/CTF Act) to these reporting entities, which are required to report any transactions over A$10,000.
However, the regulator does not have any visibility of cash transactions. AUSTRAC want to push any private cash purchases over A$10,000 into the electronic financial system to be able to track and prevent money laundering and counter terrorist financing.
There are suspicions that this proposed bill has less to do with the monitoring of crime amongst regular citizens and rather towards the push of bail-in bank deposits in preparation for negative interest rates from global institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to prop up the failing financial system.
If the problem is genuinely geared towards solving the lack of visibility in the cash black economy, the Senate has raised a concern that forcing all Australian people away from cash and through the banking system, may in turn push unlawful criminal activity into alternative methods like cryptocurrencies.
“As a result of this bill, if it sends people into the digital cryptocurrency domain, will we find ourselves in a situation is all we do is that we drive criminals to another place that you do not have much visibility over?”…