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Author Topic: Irony of Australian e-currency laws  (Read 5334 times)
BitPiggy
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October 25, 2012, 04:08:03 AM
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Just blogged about the irony I saw in the Australian e-currency laws (link + comments here http://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/121ewt/irony_of_australian_ecurrency_laws).

For one, since bitcoin does not meet the government's definition of e-currency, bitcoin avoids a bunch of AML/CTF laws.

Secondly, the definition of money implies that bitcoin isn't of interest to AUSTRAC since its too little like gold and too much like fiat (i.e. not backed by anything).

Found that kind of interesting.
~Mat

Links:
Original post here: http://matholroyd.com/post/34232285907/the-irony-of-australian-e-currency-laws

Anti-money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) Act 2006: http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/C2012C00375/Html/Text#_Toc321138470

AUSTRAC report explicitly stating bitcoin does not fall under AML/CTF laws: http://www.austrac.gov.au/files/typ_rprt12_full.pdf

http://BitPiggy.com: Australian Dollars (AUD) to BitCoin exchange
@bitpiggy

Me: Ruby on Rails developer, 12+ years programming experience.
@matholroyd, http://www.linkedin.com/in/matholroyd
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October 25, 2012, 08:33:09 AM
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Not just a tacit admission that fiat valuation is highly subjective, but also that there is little point in trying to regulate Bitcoin. Because of the way it's been designed, it would be more trouble than it's worth to administer or even attempt to prosecute Bitcoin usage. Subtly discrediting the system is the only option they really have.
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October 25, 2012, 08:42:17 AM
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Quote
digital currencies (such as Bitcoins, SolidCoins and Linden dollars) are issued by commercial enterprises.

Fail.

Also it seems they think you cant buy much with bitcoin so criminals arent likely to use it. I guess if it gets bigger they might take an interest.

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October 25, 2012, 10:13:13 AM
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my reply is from the mind of a Brit, just so your warned.
one thing the articles the OP linked totally misses out on
bitcoin as its own entity where for instance you mine coins. buy stuff online with only coins and never ever swap for fiat. most, probably all countries AML laws don't apply. as its not treated like a currency I know that is the case for UK.and we have E-Money legal definitions too which don't apply to bitcoin as a separate entity.
so if you have been scammed or use your mined coins on drugs/gambling sites illegally in the UK. The FSA cant touch you under AML. but that being said, be careful of the cyber crimes/Scotland yard as that's a different matter and they would be knocking at your door. if they find you that is.

But AML does become more relevant in relation to FIAT-> BTC exchanges. in the US for instance, I am learning they want to know both the comings and goings. the traceability of virtually every fiat transaction small or large. where as in the UK they only want to know about large payments, especially where the FIAT goes to. So BTC itself is not the problem. But large FIAT transactions at the gates of cryptocurrency are. So as long as you don't accept large FIAT payments or give out large FIAT payments you will be treated just like a retailer. with customers buying your product BTC.
Yes, you heard it right. its currently treated like a product or commodity. Not a currency, well at least in the UK this is the case.

in the UK FSA deal with the FIAT side of things stopping at the exchanges dealing with FIAT. and cyber crimes divisions of the police force deal with the internal workings of bitcoin EG silkroad, scams/thefts.. But i think in the US the financial and cyber crimes all come under the one hat of SEC. sorry I'm a brit, so forgive my lack of US knowledge.

and i totally don't know how the Australian system works. so those Australians just mining and guying gold, printed t-shirts etc, theres nothing to worry about. but for Australians setting up FIAT to BTC exchanges. it is a different ball game

the link in OP thread asks:
But why state that e-currencies must be backed by something?
the simple answer if a website takes in FIAT and credits a membership database of members in the same FIAT value then that fiat value is an e-money. EG paypal. But if for instance the website takes in FIAT but credits the member with 10 apple credits for a silly example. then that is not e-money as its numeric value differs and it no longer represents the FIAT symbol so its whole identy has changed..
 This is why facebook don't just deal with dollars on their payments database for games. credits become unbacked by fiat as soon as they remove the $£ symbols and replace it with a number that does not relates to the fiat value. So zynga poker wont be monitored by the authorities in relation to AML laws.. Also because facebook don't deal with large single transactions so they wont be constantly monitored at their FIAT payment processing side either.
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October 26, 2012, 08:35:43 PM
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Good post, jackdavis1983, and you've hit the nail on the head.

The fiat side of things is heavily regulated already and we know governments can control fiat<->BTC gateways.

Bitcoin is both a commodity and a currency, just like Au or Ag, in my humble two-satoshi opinion.

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October 26, 2012, 08:40:15 PM
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my reply is from the mind of a Brit, just so your warned.
one thing the articles the OP linked totally misses out on
bitcoin as its own entity where for instance you mine coins. buy stuff online with only coins and never ever swap for fiat. most, probably all countries AML laws don't apply. as its not treated like a currency I know that is the case for UK.and we have E-Money legal definitions too which don't apply to bitcoin as a separate entity.
so if you have been scammed or use your mined coins on drugs/gambling sites illegally in the UK. The FSA cant touch you under AML. but that being said, be careful of the cyber crimes/Scotland yard as that's a different matter and they would be knocking at your door. if they find you that is.

But AML does become more relevant in relation to FIAT-> BTC exchanges. in the US for instance, I am learning they want to know both the comings and goings. the traceability of virtually every fiat transaction small or large. where as in the UK they only want to know about large payments, especially where the FIAT goes to. So BTC itself is not the problem. But large FIAT transactions at the gates of cryptocurrency are. So as long as you don't accept large FIAT payments or give out large FIAT payments you will be treated just like a retailer. with customers buying your product BTC.
Yes, you heard it right. its currently treated like a product or commodity. Not a currency, well at least in the UK this is the case.

in the UK FSA deal with the FIAT side of things stopping at the exchanges dealing with FIAT. and cyber crimes divisions of the police force deal with the internal workings of bitcoin EG silkroad, scams/thefts.. But i think in the US the financial and cyber crimes all come under the one hat of SEC. sorry I'm a brit, so forgive my lack of US knowledge.

and i totally don't know how the Australian system works. so those Australians just mining and guying gold, printed t-shirts etc, theres nothing to worry about. but for Australians setting up FIAT to BTC exchanges. it is a different ball game

the link in OP thread asks:
But why state that e-currencies must be backed by something?
the simple answer if a website takes in FIAT and credits a membership database of members in the same FIAT value then that fiat value is an e-money. EG paypal. But if for instance the website takes in FIAT but credits the member with 10 apple credits for a silly example. then that is not e-money as its numeric value differs and it no longer represents the FIAT symbol so its whole identy has changed..
 This is why facebook don't just deal with dollars on their payments database for games. credits become unbacked by fiat as soon as they remove the $£ symbols and replace it with a number that does not relates to the fiat value. So zynga poker wont be monitored by the authorities in relation to AML laws.. Also because facebook don't deal with large single transactions so they wont be constantly monitored at their FIAT payment processing side either.

The answer is for as many people as possible to buy and sell bitcoins locally. Use localbitcoins even if youre only doing small trades it still supports the economy.

They usually dont go after the smaller traders just like they usually ignore drug users over drug dealers.

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