Parliament to vote on Bitcoin regulation and developers prepare for Bitcoin Gold split as value soars.
One Bitcoin in Australia is now trading at $7,710 (or $US6,026).
The figure is almost 10 times the value of the controversial cryptocurrency this time last year, when you could invest in a single unit for just $803 (or $US630).
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, it has also surpassed a market capitalisation of $127.9 billion (US$100 billion) for the first time in its history.
The record high comes on the eve of a Parliament vote expected this week, which will decide whether to allow AUSTRAC – the government’s financial intelligence agency – to regulate digital currency exchanges where traders buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
“Businesses that trade digital currencies for money, and vice versa, will be required to enrol and register with AUSTRAC,” Justice Minister Michael Keenan said in a Parliamentary speech about the bill in August.
Mr Keenan said these businesses would need to “establish, implement and maintain an AML/CTF (anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing) program”.
In addition, they would have to “report threshold transactions and suspicious matters to AUSTRAC, and keep appropriate records”.
The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) supports regulating digital currencies.
“Virtual currencies, such as Bitcoin, are increasingly being used by serious and organised crime groups,” ACIC said in its report on Australian organised crime, released in August.
“They are a form of currency that can be sold anonymously online, without reliance on a central bank or financial institution to facilitate transactions.”
An upcoming split in the technology with the creation of an alternate asset called ‘Bitcoin Gold’, is believed to be a major factor for the most recent surge.
The Australian Financial Review reported earlier this month that Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song’s aim was for Bitcoin Gold to “be a better gold than Bitcoin”.
Developers expected the new asset to be in operation by the start of November. And in the same way that Bitcoin owners received the same amount of Bitcoin Cash when it split in August, they would receive the same amount of Bitcoin Gold.