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Canada Starts Bitcoin Regulation: Virtual Currencies Mentioned In 2014 Budget Implementation Bill

Canada Starts Bitcoin Regulation: Virtual Currencies Mentioned In 2014 Budget Implementation Bill

There’s A Virtual Currency Provision In The 2014 Federal Budget Implementation Act

Last Friday, Canada’s new Minister of Finance Joe Oliver presented the first of two 2014 budget implementation bills to the House of Commons. The bill , that was tabled, was written by recently-resigned former Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty. Flaherty has previously revealed his negative view on Bitcoin in a speech about his 2014 budget implementation plans. As has become increasingly prevalent in the last few decades, the biannual budget implementation bill often becomes bloated with “unrelated measures” that are pushed through the House of Commons on the ruling party’s agenda. This year, nestled with provisions that would change ‘the Canadian Navy’ to ‘the Royal Canadian Navy’, is a provision about virtual currency.



The full text of the new Budget Implementation Bill can be found here.

The “Virtual Currency Provision” of the recently tabled Omnibus Federal budget implementation bill (emphasis mine):

– Allows the government to police online casinos, and requires dealers of virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, to report suspicious transactions, or those over $10,000, to a government watchdog.

Though the proposed budget implementation bill will likely receive some changes from the opposing party in the House of Commons before it becomes the 2014 budget implementation act, it is incredibly unlikely that the “virtual currency provision” will be touched. Canada will either establish a new government watchdog, or rule that virtual/digital currencies suspicious activities are under the jurisdiction of an already extant agency.

The goal is to force Canadian Bitcoin exchanges to operate more like banks, reporting any transactions larger than $10,000, to a government watchdog. In the mind of governments everywhere, transactions larger than $10,000 are automatically suspicious. Needless to say, some Canadians may not be OK with that particular interpretation forced upon the inherently free digital currency community. On the other hand, compliant virtual currency dealers/exchanges should already be keeping track of fiat transactions larger than $10,000 for tax and AML/KYC compliance purposes, this merely expedites the reporting process.


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This entry was posted on April 1, 2014 by and tagged .

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