April 19, 2024
Queensland Law Seeks Crypto Seizure Powers
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Queensland Law Seeks Crypto Seizure Powers

The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) of Queensland, Australia, has identified deficiencies in state laws regarding the criminal use of digital assets, prompting a call for modernization of the asset confiscation regime.

Proposed Reforms to Address Legal Shortcomings

The CCC has highlighted concerns regarding the effectiveness of Queensland’s Criminal Proceeds Confiscation Act 2002 (CPCA) in confiscating cryptocurrencies associated with organized crime activities such as money laundering. To address these concerns, the commission has proposed significant reforms to achieve seven priority outcomes, three of which directly pertain to the seizure of digital assets.

“Digital assets are expected to continue to proliferate as the criminal environment increasingly becomes less physical, and the CPCA less effective for dealing with digital assets.”

Recommended Measures to Enhance Regulation

The CCC underscores the need for updating the CPCA to include crypto-related terminology like “cryptocurrency,” “crypto asset,” or “digital asset.” It views the absence of such language as a fundamental issue contributing to the gaps in Queensland’s legislative framework. The commission emphasizes adapting the CPCA to the evolving criminal landscape to effectively seize digital assets, gather evidence, attribute ownership, and facilitate asset storage or transfers.

“While digital assets can be restrained and forfeited under the CPCA, there are currently no specific provisions for investigative agencies in Queensland to facilitate the effective seizure of digital assets.”

The proposed reforms entail defining “digital assets” and incorporating them into money laundering laws, converting seized assets into stable currencies during legal proceedings, and implementing automatic forfeitures. These measures aim to strengthen Queensland’s ability to combat digital asset-related crimes and enhance regulatory effectiveness in the face of financial innovation.

ASIC’s Strategic Approach to Financial Innovation

In a related development, Alan Kirkland, commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), has outlined a strategy to promote responsible financial innovation. Kirkland emphasizes addressing the “regulatory trilemma,” balancing consumer protection, market integrity, and encouraging financial innovation.

Source: ASIC Media

ASIC aims to mitigate risks associated with financial innovations through effective regulation while fostering widespread adoption of digital assets. Kirkland believes that ASIC’s approach can play a crucial role in reducing risks and promoting the integration of digital assets into mainstream financial systems.

Image by rawpixel.com on Freepik

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