Citing the same reasons as most other nations, Austrian government stated that is trying to stop the use of cryptocurrency as means for money laundering. To do so, it is planning to launch a series of measures to have a better oversight of cryptocurrency assets.
Hartwig Loeger, the Finance Minister of Austria, said that the increased role of cryptocurrency in the fight against money laundering and terror funding could not be ignored. As such, more trust was needed between the technology and the authorities.
The reforms and regulations are said to be based on the older model that was used for traditional assets. Some salient features include:
1. Every trader/party must be identified by the cryptocurrency players. This must be done either by the cryptocurrency company or coin exchanges.
2. Trades worth more than $12,300 or greater must be disclosed to the government. The financial intelligence unit would be responsible for keeping records of all such transactions.
3. ICOs would not escape the regulations like they have managed in case of many other countries. They would fall under the same rules of market manipulation and must submit a "digital prospectus" to the government.
The announcement of Austria is important in many aspects. For once, it makes another country that has been willing to recognize cryptocurrency as a valid technology instead of a sham. The announcement also came around the same time when the government was probing a suspected bitcoin scam worth $115 million by an Austrian company calledOptioment. The scam might have been the trigger which forced the government to finally introduce regulations, albeit a bit hastily.
However, Loeger's outlook has so far been positive. In fact, he even advised the European Union to introduce a broad spectrum of cryptocurrency regulations. EU, which has so far been disdainful of the technology, has planned a meet week. The meet would comprise of top bankers, market expert, and some key cryptocurrency experts. The move by Austrian government might be the incentive that the group of nations needed for finally recognizing cryptocurrency.