Greater powers for Victorian Police to be granted in order to seize crypto assets from criminals.
The new law would also compel bitcoin exchanges to provide data that could help law enforcement with criminal investigations.
Soon, Victorian Police in Australia will be given additional authority i.e. greater powers for the Victorian police in order to take cryptocurrency and digital assets from offenders and force platforms to turn up suspect information.
The Major Crime and Community Safety Legislation Amendment Bill 2022, which aims to combat organized crime in the state, was presented to parliament on Tuesday, according to a statement issued by Victorian premier Daniel Andrews on August 2.
In response to the increased usage of digital cryptocurrencies by organized crime, the new bill is anticipated to offer authorities “more power” to locate and seize crypto assets.
Just like banks, cryptocurrency exchanges will be required by law to provide information to aid in criminal investigations.
“They will be able to compel cryptocurrency platforms to hand over information about suspects like banks currently must, and seize digital ‘wallets’.”
Additionally, it will provide police more authority to search for electronic data when executing search warrants and make it simpler for the criminal’s “forfeited property” to be made available to recompense crime victims.
Michael Bacina, a digital asset specialist at Piper Alderman, said that because of the fact that the wording of the Bill has not been made public, a possible challenge around digital asset legislation is it cuts across state and federal borders. Thus the challenge of legislating a digital asset would be that the state jurisdiction often stops right at the border and so ensuring consistency in the approach will be difficult and would require cooperation between different states and countries.
Criminals using digital assets as payment “provides a valuable tool for police in combating crime, as transactions leave an immutable trail of evidence on a public ledger which is extraordinarily difficult to alter after the fact,” according to Bacina, who also noted that police will need “proper training in the technology of seizure and securing private keys of digital wallets.”
Anthony Carbines, the police minister for Victoria, admitted that criminals were changing their tactics, saying:
“We need to be just as rapid in giving our police the resources they need to respond to new ways of offending.”
In early 2022, according to estimations made by the well-known cryptocurrency monitoring program Chainalysis, wallet addresses linked to criminal activity would have at least $10 billion in cryptocurrency.
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