MasterCard has called on Australia to force Bitcoin transactions to go through "regulated and transparent administrators" in the same way as other participants in the country's payments system.
In its submission to a Senate inquiry into cryptocurrencies, the card giant argues for a "level playing field" with technology neutral regulations that can apply to the likes of Bitcoin and Ripple.
MasterCard says that cryptocurrencies currently fail to offer people the minimum standards that payment services should provide: safety, stability and reliability.
The firm is calling for a requirement that all transactions go through regulated and transparent administrators subject to supervision by Australian authorities, rather than just the blockchain process.
In addition, there should be licensing and prudential supervision of all administrators comparable to non-bank money transmitters, with obligations to perform KYC, maintain AML programmes and file suspicious activity reports. Meanwhile, a consumer complaint process should be put in place.
Concludes the submission: "These provisions should support Australia in developing an effective regulatory scheme that also protects society against criminal activities and also provides consumers in Australia with safety, stability and reliability when transacting with digital currencies."
MasterCard made one of 31 submissions to the Economics References Committee's inquiry which has now begun hearings and plans to report in the spring.
Australia's largest Bitcoin company, CoinJar, has just outlined plans to move its headquarters to the UK to take advantage of a more favourable regulatory regime and avoid the 10% Goods and Services Tax levied on customers using its service down under.
Read MasterCard's submission here:Download the document now 1.3 mb (PDF File)