Earlier this week, in Australia a bill called the “Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill 2019” was petitioned against by Robert Barwick, who is the director of the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia and it was introduced as an explanatory draft by the Australian Parliament. This somewhat controversial bill proposes banning cash transactions over 10,000 Australian dollars which includes digital currencies. A number of parties oppose this bill including 7,000 people who have reportedly signed a petition against the bill, keeping in mind that different drafts of the bill include and exclude digital currency from these limits. 

It is not uncommon in the crypto industry for large amounts of money to be moved in a very quick manner, whether through exchanges or otherwise. A bill such as this will not only restrict the movement within the crypto industry but affect fiat currency as well and many believe it will cause an unnecessary inconvenience. 

For the Greater Good? 

While this bill has seen backlash from those who support both crypto and fiat currency, the idea behind the bill is allegedly to prevent cash usage for illicit activities which include money laundering and tax evasion. Barwick stated that while this might seem like a means to create a cashless society, it will end up being a totalitarian law that will trap Australians with banks and will have negative consequences due to bank interest rates. As such, he has asked parliament to scrap the bill and to go after the black economy by targeting the large corporations and big four accounting firms as well as tax Havens. 

“Banning cash transactions over $10,000 will not end the tax evasion and money laundering of the ‘black economy’, but will strip individuals of their right to privacy in financial affairs, and trap them in private banks, unable to escape policies such as ‘bail-in’ and negative interest rates,” Barwick said. 

Back in July 2019, an explanatory memorandum to the draft was issued which proposed an exception to cryptocurrencies because it stated that there was little evidence to imply that digital currency is being used to facilitate black economy activities and as such. should be exempted from the limit. However, the newest version of the draft includes cryptocurrency in its definition of cash and such, will be included in the ban.

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