Global card network MasterCard has called on regulators inAustralia to force Bitcoin transactions to go through “regulated andtransparent administrators” in the same way that traditional paymentproviders and transaction types use the country’s payments system.
Writing in a submission to Australia’s Senate, MasterCardhighlighted that crypto currencies currently fail to offer people the minimumstandards that payment services should provide: safety, stability andreliability and thus they should be avoided or at a minimum forced to undergothe same regulation that more mainstream payment types currently experience.MasterCard also encourages the Senate to pass regulations that would requiredigital currencies to be licensed and overseen similar to other non-bank moneytransmitters.
In the written document, MasterCard writes, “Theseprovisions should support Australia in developing an effective regulatory schemethat also protects society against criminal activities and also providesconsumers in Australia with safety, stability and reliability when transactingwith digital currencies.”
While digital currency headlines and in particular Bitcoinheadlines have declined in recent months, regulators around the world are stillattempting to determine the most effective mechanism of regulation given theopportunities and consequences that the digital currencies present within thepayments industry.
Today, there is still no clear consensus about the best wayto regulate digital currencies however MasterCard’s push in Australia andlikely elsewhere will help generate the discussion needed to help foster aconstructive debate about the future use of digital currencies globally.
For more information on digital currency regulation, seeMercator Advisory Group’s Research Note, GlobalDigital Currency Regulations: Divergent Paths released in October 2014.
Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, International Advisory Service for Mercator Advisory Group
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