Feds take aim at terrorist use of cryptocurrencies, prepaid cards

Feds take aim at terrorist use of cryptocurrencies, prepaid cards


OTTAWA — Proposed new federal measures take aim at shadowy payments made by terrorists and money launderers using virtual currencies and prepaid credit cards.

The planned regulations would help close loopholes in Canada’s anti-money laundering regime and address shortcomings pointed out by an international watchdog.

The government says virtual currencies are increasingly being used to commit fraud and cybercrime and to buy illicit goods and services in the darker corners of the internet.

The proposed measures would impose new reporting obligations on people and businesses dealing in such cryptocurrencies.

The government says prepaid credit cards can be abused because it is difficult to trace the origins of money loaded to them.

Under the changes, prepaid cards would be treated like bank accounts, meaning issuers would need to verify the card purchaser’s identity, keep records and report any suspicious dealings.

The government is accepting public comment on the planned measures until early September.

— Follow @JimBronskill on Twitter

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