In recent developments, more than seventy-thousand people in Australia have signed a petition against drafted cash restrictions prevailing in the country.
This followed Robert Barwick’s, who is the director at the Citizens Electoral Council of Australia, initiating a petition against the bill which was proposed recently as an explanatory draft by Australia’s parliament, titled ‘Currency (Restrictions on the Use of Cash) Bill, 2019. The chief point maintained by this bill was a ban on any kind of cash transactions exceeding 10,000 AUD (amounting to about $6,900). This naturally included digital currency transactions too.
Prevention of Illicit Cash Usage or Monetary Dictatorship: What does the Bill Imply?
The argument upon which the bill has been drafted and proposed is that it would hold the capability of countering the use of money in illegal activities like tax evasion and money laundering. However, the petitioner, led by Barwick, maintain that instead of countering illicit activities involving cash, the bill would just ‘trap Australians in banks’ and they would be unable to ‘escape bail-in and negative interest rates’.
The further argument of the petitioners against the bill lies in the possibility that the bill would deprive people of individual privacy in terms of their financial activities.
Cryptocurrencies: Contrasting Stands
An explanatory memorandum to the draft was issued earlier this year in July. It noted that no proof existed of digital currencies being used for illegal activities in Australia. In the memorandum, keeping this view in mind, the digital currencies were decided to be kept out of the cash payment limits. However, the new version of the draft, contradictory to the previously held stand of the government, proposes to include digital currencies in the cash payment limits spectrum. This is done by recognizing cash having two forms, digital currencies, and physical currencies.