Australia, one of the world’s biggest and most promising Bitcoin markets, has seen a major drop in Bitcoin demand due to a coordinated attack by the banking system against Bitcoin exchanges, reports Reuters Saturday.
When Central Bankers Attack
Within September alone, 13 out of the 17 Bitcoin exchanges working out of Australia have had their banking accounts shut down by the industry. This has destroyed current Bitcoin business cycles, scared off potential new business ventures into the sector, and created more negative images of Bitcoin-related business for mainstream consumers. This practice as a whole is best summed up by the word collusion.
Courtesy of Dictionary.com:
Collusion: noun - col·lu·sion - a secret agreement, especially for fraudulent or treacherous purposes; conspiracy:
Central banking cartels have proven very attached and proficient with the collusive practice worldwide. Whether it is banks discriminating against minorities in loan procurement and rate fixing or the recent multi-billion dollar verdict against many of the world’s largest banks for collusion in controlling the global Forex markets, banks will stoop to any level to maintain financial control over a market, or the world as a whole. This is just another log on the fire of deceit within the global banking industry.
Australia has always been a global Bitcoin economic leader, holding over 7% of the global Bitcoin share, a stunning amount for a country of only 35 million people. Regulators have publicly worked on legal, tax and business framework for the country over the past 18 months due to increasing popularity of digital currency. This past spring, one in three Australians said they would leave their bank for a future of decentralized digital currency.
Bitcoin experts like Andreas Antonopoulos have spent hours with Australian Senate committees, educating them on the currency and the opportunity the market has to become an Asia-Pacific leader in a booming digital economy. The government has been generally positive towards Bitcoin in response, but banking cartels may be caught in a conflict of interest when it comes to Bitcoin’s success.
The banks' shutdown appears at odds with the recent government inquiry in August, which recommended removing sales tax for people who buy bitcoin. The Australian anti-money laundering agency, AUSTRAC, told Reuters that banks have no legal obligation to close bitcoin accounts.
The so-called "Big Four" banks in Australia are Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Westpac Banking Corp, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, and National Australia Bank, which makes up the Australian Bankers’ Association.
"Lack of transparency and regulatory oversight raises a number of risks for users and also poses risks for the payments system, the integrity of the financial system and the erosion of the tax base,” said Tony Pearson, the association's acting chief executive, to Reuters in an email response.
The damage to the Bitcoin community in Australia has been massive
All 13 of the Bitcoin exchanges have shut down after account closure. The remaining four have the remaining options: move overseas like CoinJar or spread their business into several smaller bank accounts to avoid detection by their banks. Hitting the exchanges in their wallet hurts, but the public image damage with businesses and consumers may be far more significant and long-lasting.
"If governments begin to aggressively attack the whole idea of cryptocurrencies and give it a bad name, it might have an adverse effect on our brand by accepting it," said David Brim, co-founder of off-road vehicle maker Tomcar Australia.