Tuesday, May 21, 2013

REPORT Canadian Regulator Will Go Easy on Bitcoin Exchanges

There are mixed signals coming out of Canada with regard to Bitcoin. In April, the Royal Bank of Canada and TDBank froze the accounts of two Canadian Bitcoin exchanges, Canadain Bitcoins and CADbitcoins.

But the latest news from Canadian regulators is that Canada's anti-money laundering regulator will leave Bitcoin exchanges in the country alone for now.

Jeremy Kirk at PC World reports:

LibertyBit, which exchanges the virtual currency Bitcoin for U.S. and Canadian dollars, has been told it does not have to register with Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC), said CEO Paul Szczesny, via email on Tuesday.

FINTRAC, which was created in 2000, is responsible for investigating and preventing money-laundering and activities used to fund terrorism.

But concerns have been raised in some quarters that the high degree of anonymity of Bitcoin transactions makes them attractive for criminal purposes such as tax evasion.

Szczesny wrote that FINTRAC told LibertyBit in an email that it was not considered a Money Service Business, which would require registering with FINTRAC. The agency told LibertyBit that since the transfer of funds is a corollary of its actual service of trading virtual currency, it need not register.

The Register reported on Monday that another Canadian Bitcoin exchange, Cadbitcoin, received the same advice from FINTRAC.

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