Sheikh Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman — Chairman, Shariah Board submitted by
Sheikh Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman who is a Managing Director of Elzar Group of companies (Elzar Shariah Solutions Sdn Bhd, Elzar Resources Sdn Bhd, Elzar Trading Sdn Bhd and K-Fiqh Sdn Bhd).
Dr. Zaharuddin served as an Assistant Professor at the Kulliyyah of Economics, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) for more than 10 years. He obtained his degree from University of Malaya, MA in Shariah from Al-Yarmouk University, Jordan and PHD in Islamic Studies and Finance from University of Wales. He is also a certified Islamic Finance trainer and lecturer by The Markfield Institute of Higher Education, United Kingdom.
He has served RHB Islamic Bank Ltd, Malaysia as a Senior Shari’ah Manager & Product Development and later, joining Asian Finance Bank Ltd as Head of the Shari’ah Compliance. He has a vast experience in Shariah where he has served various institutions as Shariah Consultant and Advisor for Central Bank of Malaysia (BNM), OSK Investment Bank, Deutche Bank, Al-Rajhi Bank Malaysia, Standard Chartered Saadiq Bank, ACR ReTakaful Bahrain, BIMB Securities Sdn Bhd, BNP Paribas Bank and others.
To-date, he has written over 20 books and hundreds of articles on Islamic Jurisprudence and Islamic Banking and other Shari’ah matters in journal, including local and international magazines and conferences. He frequently appears in the local television and radio lecturing on various Shari’ah issues especially with regards to the Islamic commercial transaction. His Facebook page ‘Dr. Zaharuddin Abd Rahman’ has about 1.3 million followers.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-zaharuddin-abd-rahman-05a0195/ Mr Vince Focarelli — Ambassador
There was a time, whenever Vince Focarelli’s name was mentioned, it struck fear and hatred in the people’s heart, especially amongst the residents of Adelaide. That is not the case anymore. The former leader of the notorious gang ‘Comanchero’, he is now a transformed and completely different person after embracing Islam. Watch the interview with Vince about his journey to Islam. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2jcCxBwm9s
Vince — now Imran Abdul Salam — is an active social activist, where he frequently gives motivational and inspirational talk about his journey to Islam. He is also actively involved in several humanitarian works such as organising a food convoy for the Yemeni refugees. He used to own and run a Halal Italian restaurant, La Fig Cucina in Adelaide, of which he wishes to expand its presence around the world.
Vince has been appointed as the Ambassador to Bayan Token as he shares the same aspirations and noble intentions of spreading good to the wider mass. An avid preacher of kindness and goodness himself, he is very excited and looking forward to do greater good through the Shariah compliant Bayan Token.
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vince-Focarelli-1892643934346711/ Dato’ Zainal Abidin M Husain — Chairman
Dato’ Zainal Abidin was a name to be reckoned with in the banking and financial industry. He served as a Manager for eight years at Arab-Malaysian Merchant Bank Berhad before becoming the Head of Finance at Halim Securities Sdn Bhd.
He then made his leap of faith by founding Ikhtiar Destinasi Sdn Bhd. He has held many significant positions since then which include the Managing Director for Ikhtiar Factoring Sdn Bhd and Director for both Transpro Sdn Bhd and Ikhtiar Commerce Sdn Bhd.
At 56, he is still active and going strong, overseeing Ikhtiar Destinasi Sdn Bhd as its Executive Chairman. He graduated from University of Minnesota in Accounting and Idaho State University in Masters in Education (Business).
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dato-zainalabidin-husain-267927aa/ Nazimuddin Nazaruddin — Chief Executive Officer
Nazimuddin graduated from Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), completing his Association of Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) professional course. He is a member of ACCA and Malaysia Institute of Accountants (MIA), and is currently a Chartered Accountant by background. He kickstarts his career in a medium sized Audit Firm, Afrizan Tarmili Khairul Azhar (AFTAAS), and continue his auditing career to one of the Big Four firm, Deloitte Malaysia based in Petaling Jaya, leading and managing various client’s portfolio, from small to big entities.
Then he moved to Schlumberger KL Financial Hub as a Management Accountant, dealing with Financial Reporting and operational matters, taking care of Middle East area operations via working closely with Operation Controllers, specifically in Artificial Lift and Completions segment for Kuwait, UAE, and North Sudan. Currently he is practicing in his own firm Nazim & Co, an accounting firm under MIA, specializing in small medium entities portfolio’s.
He has vast experience and well verse in International and local financial reporting standards, international standards of auditing, financial reporting compliance, statutory and taxation matters, performance management and internal audit compliance.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nazimuddin-nazaruddin-acca-ca-m-3391b1aa/ Ameerul Zafeeq Hizamuddin — Chief Financial Officer
Ameerul Zafeeq is a chartered accountant graduated in 2010 from Kaplan Financial College, London. He started his career at Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) as an audit associate. He then moved to Accenture as Accountant before joining Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) as Fund Accountant to have a first-hand experience in investment field.
Ameerul was hired by Petronas Carigali as a Senior Executive in 2016. He was promoted to Assistant Manager and moved to Petronas Berhad. He specialises in business planning, forecasting, budgeting and reporting.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ameerul-zafeeq-hizamuddin-883224a3/ Adam Effendy Mustapha — Chief Operating Officer
Adam Effendy graduated from London School of Economics and Political Science in Bsc. Economics. Immediately after graduation, he was offered an executive position in UEM Group Berhad, serving both the Corporate Finance Department and the Managing Director’s office. He then moved to UEM Sunrise Berhad, gaining more experiences in the corporate world after serving total of three years in the Managing Director’s office and the Corporate Planning department.
Adam then decided to resign and started his own publishing house that has published ten books to-date; two of them were national bestsellers. After two and half years being an entrepreneur, Adam craves for new challenges and wants to learn something novel and exciting. He quickly jumped at the offer to join the team as he gets to enjoy the best of two worlds; Islamic finance and financial technology.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-e-mustapha-661011b1/ Muhamad Akif Akmal Abdul Aziz — Chief Technology Officer
A First-Class Honour graduate in B.Eng Electrical & Electronic from University of Adelaide, Muhamad Akif Akmal was an Electrical Engineer at Tarpon Energy Services Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd since 2014 before joining the team. He specialises in designing electrical system and instrument.
Akif is a crypto and blockchain enthusiast who has traded using various platforms such as Poloniex, Shapeshift, Remitano and LocalBitcoins. He also has experiences in building GPU mining rig and designing mining farm. He was also a back-end technology consultant for several ICOs.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/muhamad-akif-akmal-abdul-aziz-19b22a73/ Zikri Zainudin — Chief Technical Analyst
A Financial Engineering graduate with 7 years of investment banking experience, Zikri Zainudin is a self-taught computer programmer. He applied complex algorithms and artiﬁcial intelligence to enhance the Z2 System into an integrated, advanced methodological application, designed for efﬁcient stock picking, complex alerts and automated execution to support professional trading. It took more than 10 years to derive the methodology, which is now known as the Z2 Protocol. Mr Steven Georgiadis — Legal Consultant
Steven Georgiadis is a highly acclaimed and seasoned Trial Attorney with 18 years of accomplished experience. With a combination of a scholastic and reformist approach, he has netted triumphant proficiency in investment banking, private banking, Mergers & Acquisition, private equity transactions, corporate finance and corporate governance. Commonly sought internationally by prestigious cliental, he has become a highly respected advisor and esteemed leader.
Steven, a graduate from Bond University, Gold Coast, Australian with Bachelor of Laws (LLB), has been solicited for his astute abilities in a vast array of legal disciplines including dispute resolution and in litigation for both hard and soft commodity sectors.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/steven-georgiadis-06692768/ Mr Pierre Chuah — Marketing Expert
Pierre Chuah is a Digital Marketing Cloud Specialist with 20 years of experience. With a holistic digital experiences, he is able to understand and implement various digital marketing technologies for businesses.
Pierre started his career in KPMG Asia Pacific as an IT consultant in the implementation of SAP Finance solutions, for various companies in Malaysia and Singapore. Subsequently he led a team of 23 individuals in providing digital marketing consultancy to various multi-national companies such as Japanese Tobacco Industry (JTI), Carlsberg, Nissan, Cadbury, Kimberly Clarke, Mattel Toys, Adidas, Panasonic and many others in implementing digital marketing technologies.
Pierre joins Oranje-ISC as a Digital Director in the year 2014 having developed and implemented a 360-digital experience for Langkawi Island. Under his direction, Oranje-ISC was made finalist in ‘Marketing Excellence Awards 2017’. He is professionally certified by SAP, Google, Oracle and Adobe. He graduated from Warwick University, United Kingdom BSc Management Science and City University, London with MSc Information System and Technology.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pierre-chuah-18222861/ Dr. Said Adekunle Mikail — Shariah Expert
Dr. Said Adekunle Mikail is a researcher at International Shariah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA) and lecturer at International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance (INCEIF). His academic qualifications are distinguished; he graduated from Islamic University of Madinah with LLB (Shariah) and earned his Master’s Degree in Comparative Law from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). He then obtained his PhD in Islamic Finance from the same university.
Dr. Said’s experience in Islamic Finance is extensive. He was the Shariah advisor for BNP Paribas (Islamic Banking Window, Malaysia) in 2015. He was appointed as the Shariah Consultant to I Consult Africa (PTY) Ltd. Ethical and Responsible Advisory, South Africa in 2016 and still serving them until now. He is also a Shariah Consultant under ISRA Consultancy Sdn Bhd, which has served a number of high-profile clients including the Central Bank of Malaysia.
Dr. Said holds a number of memberships in various esteemed bodies and organisations such as Al-Birr Investment and Credit Cooperative Society Limited (Chairman), Muslim Scholarship Fund of Nigeria (MSFN-Nigeria) (Partner), International Council of Islamic Finance Educators, Malaysia (Associate Member), Malaysia Institute of Management (Affiliate Member) and Malaysian Financial Planning Council.
Being conferred the 21st Yayasan Tun Razak Youth Leadership Award in 2016 and Shariah Scholarship Award by ISRA in 2011, Dr Said has produced many academic publications and reports, which are internationally recognised. Dr Hameeth Shah Abdul Wahid — Biotech Project Expert
Dr Hameeth Shah Abdul Wahid completed his MBBS from the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) in 2004. He started his career as a young doctor in Hospital Besar Alor Setar. Since the early days, he has special interest in Internal Medicine that lead him to take up postgrad studies in the subject matter. Eventually he completed his postgrad studies and obtained membership of Members of Royal College of Physician (MRCP), United Kingdom in 2014.
Currently Dr Hameeth Shah is working as a Senior Lecturer at University Kuala Lumpur-Royal College of Medicine Perak (UNIKL-RCMP) and practicing as a Specialist in Internal Medicine at Pusat Pakar Perubatan Ar-Ridzuan in Ipoh, Perak. He also has special interest in cardiology and currently doing his fellowship in Interventional Cardiology.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hameeth-shah-67167445/ Siti Sarah Nadiah Suliman — Legal & Human Capital Director
Siti Sarah Nadiah is a qualified lawyer, whose vast experience in legal practice ranges from human rights, civil litigation, commercial and banking law.
Siti Sarah Nadiah graduated from UiTM with Honours Degree of Law and currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Islamic Finance Practice. She is also a Senior Associate Member of Chartered Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals (CIIF).
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/siti-sarah-nadiah-suliman-a16007159/ Noorashikin Zainal — Account & Finance Director
Noorashikin Zainal has a total of more than 17 years of experience in accounting. She has handled accounts of companies of various businesses and industries, which include healthcare, electrical and electronics, real estate and event management.
A graduate from UNITEN in accounting, Noorashikin’s last position was Account Manager at K-Fiqh Sdn Bhd.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/noorashikin-zainal-b83686133/ Zainab Abdul Razak — Mart Operation Director
Zainab joined Zalora, Asia’s leading online fashion platform as Operation Executive in 2012 before moving to Lazada, Malaysia’s largest e-commerce store as Senior Operation Associate in 2014, focusing on the warehouse operation. Zainab is now entrusted with managing the whole operation of Elzar Mart, a retail halal supermarket that offers everyday items at a very competitive price.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dea-zainab-a193756b/ Dr. Siti Hajar Pahmi — Biotechnology Consultant
Dr Hajar completed her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology with First Class Honours in 2010 from the University of Queensland, Australia. The university, together with the Australian Government then funded her Ph.D in Medicinal Chemistry under the International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS) and the University of Queensland Centennial Scholarship, where she gained her doctorship in 2015. Whilst formal education is important to her, Dr Hajar also led and was heavily involved in multiple projects and events both in Australia and Malaysia.
Throughout her student years, Dr Hajar’s leadership and management skills shone when she held several important positions in the Malaysian Students’ Council of Australia (MASCA) from 2007 to 2014. She maintains a balanced life by being active in sports, and have competed competitively and socially in netball, futsal, basketball, ultimate frisbee, and touch rugby. She is a strong advocate for healthy living as she believes in “healthy heart, healthy life”.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hajar-pahmi-19ba3860/ Mohamad Shafiq Ezhan Khairulazli — Creative & Marketing Director
Mohamad Shafiq Ezhan has more than 10 years of experience in creative art and design. He is the founding partner and Creative Director of Talenta Holdings Sdn Bhd, whose clients include Petronas, Telekom Malaysia Berhad and Little Trees (a company based in the United States).
A graduate from UniKL MFI in mechatronics, Shafiq Ezhan’s experience also includes marketing and image and branding strategy. Siddiq Mohd Amin — Shariah Secretary
Siddiq Mohd Amin graduated from University of al-Azhar, Cairo with a Bachelor in Shariah in 2016. An excellent student with Best Student Award in his third year, he immediately started his career with Elzar Shariah Solutions and Advisory upon his graduation as a Shariah Associate.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/siddiq-mohd-amin-516b76162/ Professor Dato’ Dr Norbik Bashah Idris — Advisor
Dato Dr Norbik Bashah Idris is currently a Professor at Kulliyah of ICT in IIUM. He started his academic career in 1983 with UTM and has been attributed as one of the early pioneers of Cybersecurity in Malaysia.
Throughout his career, he has been a member of SIGSAC –(Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control) of the ACM (Association of Computing Machinery), IEEE Computer Society, New York Academy of Science, USA and IFIP Working Group-11.3 on Database Security (USA). As a cybersecurity professional, Prof Norbik carries CISSP & CISM certifications from ISC2 & ISACA.
In 1995 he led a team which won a strategic research grant from MOSTI to start the first major research work on Cryptography in Malaysia which produced a suite of indigenious cryptographic utilities. In 1998 Prof Norbik founded the first Real-time Software Engineering Centre of Excellence in Malaysia, where he collaborated with the University of Thales from Paris. The cybersecurity R&D team he led later became incorporated as a company which won a significant project from the Malaysian Government to help monitor security of government’s network throughout the country. The company later became the first public-listed company on Cybersecurity in Malaysia. Following his success in Malaysia, Prof Norbik repeated the success into other ASEAN countries and later into the Gulf countries (UAE & Saudi Arabia).
Throughout his career Prof Norbik has been a Keynote Speaker, Visiting Professor, Corporate Figure, Consultant & Advisor on Cybersecurity to various Organizations & Governments, both in Malaysia & international. He was nominee for 2007 Ernst & Young Best IT Entrepreneur, twice Distinguished ISC2 Award winner for Asia-Pacific, IDG Distinguished Chief Security Officer for Asia Pacific, winner of at least 7 Gold medals in various exhibitions and competitions on Cybersecurity products & services, and holder of a few patents.
Prof Norbik’s latest interest is in synergizing cybersecurity & DLT (Blockchain/Tangle) into Islamic Fintech products & services in the hope of contributing to the Maqasid Shariah.
LinkedIn: https://my.linkedin.com/in/norbik-idris-92102036 Mr Hj Khairil Anuar Mohd Noor — Advisor
Khairil Anuar has been an international banker for over 27 years, where the past 18 years has been in Islamic Finance. Over the course of his career as a banker, he has had a significant exposure and experience across a multitude of area including wholesale banking, syndications, trade finance, debt and capital market, asset management, retail banking, cash management, banking operation, system implementation and product management to name a few.
Khairil had helmed HSBC Malaysia’s and Bank Simpanan Nasional’s Islamic Banking Division. He then moved to Dubai serving Emirates Islamic Bank as its Head of Marketing. His last posting was the Head of Structuring, Product Management and Business Intelligence for Wholesale Banking Group at Al Hilal Bank, Abu Dhabi, where he served for almost 10 years.
From 2006 until recently, Khairil has been instrumental in developing the Islamic Finance capabilities of Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia, Mashreq Bank, Dubai and Al Hilal Bank, Abu Dhabi and Kazakhstan within wholesale, retail and operation setting. He graduated with MBA from Saint Louis University in Missouri, USA in 1987, where he also spent 2 years working for a premier stock broking firm there.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khairil-anuar-mohd-noor-77040313/ Mr Zuheer Mohammed Majid — Advisor
Zuheer Mohammed Majid is an experienced banker whose career spans over almost 30 years. Now a Senior Vice President in Citibank Malaysia Berhad, his journey in banking began when he joined United Malayan Banking Berhad (now RHB Bank Berhad) in 1986. He then became Assistant Vice President at ABN AMRO Bank Berhad before serving Hong Leong Bank Berhad as Manager for Trade Finance and Correspondent Banking.
Zuheer’s expertise across many areas in the industry had landed him the Senior Vice President post in Citigroup Transaction Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd, where in year 2000, he joined them to oversee the trade services/finance operations and advisory services. He graduated from Irvine University, California with an MBA.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/zuheer-mohammed-majid-7a32301b/ Mr Hj Zainuddin Md Yusof — Advisor
A market trader with a background in statistics, Hj Zainuddin started trading the global markets in the 1980’s. Aside from having more than 30 years exposure to the global markets, specializing in the US equity market; he has spent thousands of hours testing and enhancing technical trading tools to develop a state-of-the-art proprietary trading system — the Z2 System — which combines technical and fundamental analysis to identify optimum trading opportunities using cutting-edge technology. Mr Hj Zulhisham Ayob — Advisor
Haji Zulhisham is a top-notch seasoned player in the media and marketing communications industries. He has over three decades of working experience in Broadcasting and Marketing Communications prior to founding Oranje-ISC. Among others, he had served as the Chief Operating Officer in Radio Airtime Services, Executive Vice President Marketing for IT Vista and Executive Director of Pakarmedia Sdn Berhad.
Apart from media industry, Haji Zulhisham is an entrepreneur who founded the Home of TAHFIZ Darul Siddir — A specialist Islamic religious institutions serving and nourishing Islamic spiritual needs promoting mainstream learning of Islam based on the Quran and Sunnah, preparing for the future generations. Home of TAHFIZ Darul Siddir is committed to the dissemination of Islamic knowledge through the traditional time honoured methods for the Glory of Allah (Glorious and Almighty He is) and in honour of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing upon him).
Another outfit founded by Haji Zulhisham is Twentytwo Multi-Labels Concept Store skewed towards offering Muslimah fashions. With more than 100 brands housed under one roof physically and digitally, Twentytwo provides trading, branding and marketing solutions to its business partners and variety of affordable designer brands suitable not only for Moslems, but those who desires to look fashionable and elegant yet dignified. Mr Khairu Rejal — Advisor
Khairu Rejal has more than 10 years of experience in the venture capital and start-up incubation space, initially at the Nanyang Technopreneurship Center (NTC) and later at Majuven, a Singapore-based venture capital firm focused on early growth and high-tech companies in Bio-Technology, Healthcare, Clean-Sustainable Solutions and Dynamic Digital Convergences. In 2017, Khairu along with other like-minded angel investors came together to launch Rekanext Capital Partners.
Currently, in Rekanext, Khairu as a Managing Partner is always looking out for start-ups across Indonesia, Malaysia as well as Philippines and Vietnam with a focus on enterprise software and deep tech verticals. He also sits on several committees of other non-profit organisations and has led initiatives in the social impact sector.
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/khairurejal/ Mr Hj Che Salmi Che Ibrahim — Advisor
Che Salmi Che Ibrahim has been in the retail industry for the past 26 years. Starting with Sabasun Sdn Bhd, before it changed to its current household name; Sabasun Hyperruncit Sdn Bhd. A local entrepreneur with a global vision, at the moment he proudly owns three Sabasun hypermarkets and a warehouse, aiming to become more efficient in distributing its items.
Sabasun Hyperruncit Sdn Bhd will launch the Terengganu Halal Business Centre in January 2019, which will house the first ever Sabasun Mall, Parkson, a hotel, office units, F&B outlets with a bowling alley. Under Che Salmi’s leadership and dedication, Sabasun has won the Malaysian Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-Operatives and Consumerism’s ‘Consumer’s Choice Award’ in 2009.
Che Salmi, a graduate in Psycholinguistics, is known not only for his skilful entrepreneurship, but also active in humanitarian and charity works. His Sabasun hypermarkets are famous among locals as it is able to cater the needs of the low-income earners. He is also known for organising fund-raising for people who are less fortunate in other countries like Palestine and Syria. Madam Roseta Mohd Jaafar — Advisor
Roseta Mohd Jaafar started off her career in Corporate Communications with Mekar Idaman Sdn Bhd as a Senior Executive in 1997. Little did she know that she would flourish in that area and climb the corporate ladder at a rather fast pace. After Mekar Idaman, she moved to Intria Berhad as Assistant Manager before becoming Head of Corporate Communications at Opus International Consultants Limited just one year after that.
Roseta then advanced her career with UEM Group Berhad, as a Manager in the Corporate Communications department. After almost 2 years there, she then took a leap of faith to become the Vice President, Head of Group Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for EON Group Berhad in 2007. Her most lustrous career to-date was her 7-year and a half stint with Al-Rajhi Bank (Malaysia), as their Vice President, Head of Corporate Communications.
Now the Corporate Affairs Director at GCH Retail (M) Sdn Bhd, which owns over 120 Giant hypermarkets, 400 Guardian pharmacies and more than 16 Cold Storage supermarkets, Rosetta has in total more than 20 years’ worth of experience in Corporate Communications. She graduated from University of Leeds with BA (Honours) in TESOL and earned her Masters of Science degree in Corporate Communications from Universiti Putra Malaysia.
Australia may be the next country to pass laws regulating Bitcoin and digital currencies, in an effort to curb money laundering and terror financing. submitted by
The laws would give AUSTRAC new powers to police digital currency exchanges (Credit: Reuters) Bitcoin is one step closer to being regulated in Australia, with Parliament expected to this week vote on a bill to strengthen the nation's anti-money laundering laws.
The value of the controversial cryptocurrency's hit its all-time high on October 21, with each Bitcoin trading at $7,467 (or $US6,149).
That was almost a ten-fold surge from last October, when each unit was worth just $803 (or $US630). But even at that lower price, many people thought the digital currency was "over-valued".
The proposed laws If the new laws are passed, the financial intelligence regulator AUSTRAC will be given new powers to police digital currency exchanges — where traders buy and sell Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies.
These exchanges like Independent Reserve and BTC Markets would need to be registered under the new regime.
It will also become an offence for an "unregistered person" to provide digital currency exchange services.
"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".
This is a softer approach compared to China, which banned initial coin offerings (ICOs) last month — a move which led to Bitcoin's value dropping by more than US$1,000 to $US3,226 (on September 14).
Digital currencies and crime The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) has been a strong advocate for 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."
They can be used on darknet marketplaces like Silk Road 3.0 and Valhalla Marketplace to facilitate the sale and trafficking of illicit drugs, firearms, precursor chemicals and child exploitation materials.
They are also the currency of choice when it comes to cyber attacks.
The hackers behind the Wannacry ransomware attack, which infected nearly 100 countries around the world demanded their ransom be paid with Bitcoin.
That was also the case with the Petya cyber attack in June, which targeted the Cadbury chocolate factory in Tasmania.
But the buying and selling of Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies is currently unregulated in Australia due to a loophole in existing laws.
The loophole is that the term "e-currencies" is defined too specifically in the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act.
"E-currencies" are defined as "an internet-based, electronic means of exchange" backed by something physical like a "precious metal" (gold or silver), or "bullion".
This problem was pointed out by the Attorney-General's Department's (AGD) submissions in submissions to the Senate.
In particular, the AGD said this specific definition does not cover Bitcoin. That is because the digital currency is not backed by physical assets at all — but by a "cryptographic algorithm".
"This regulatory gap is also having an impact on the legitimacy and public perception of the digital currency sector, which may impede developments or the use of these currencies in the future," the AGD said.
A mixed industry response There is a "legacy stigma" with digital currencies, and that people unfortunately associate Bitcoin with crime, Independent Reserve's director Lasanka Perera said.
"These new laws would be good for the industry, it will give more confidence to investors, consumers and businesses to enter the industry," he said.
But some digital currency businesses believe that the anti-money laundering bill imposes unduly harsh obligations.
"The proposed legislation will have the effect of requiring KYC [Know Your Customer] procedures of our customers for even very small transactions," said Daniel Alexiuc, who runs an online business called Living Room of Satoshi.
He said this includes small transactions like "paying your phone bill or buying a banh mi (Vietnamese bread roll) for lunch".
Through Mr Alexiuc's website, customers can use Bitcoin and 10 other cryptocurrencies to pay their household bills — as long as they have BPAY facilities like ANZ Bank, Optus and Australia Post.
Mr Alexiuc made submissions to the Senate's legal affairs committee arguing that there should be an exemption for payments under $1,000.
His concern is, under the proposed laws, he would be required to ask his customers to provide photo identification before they register for an account.
"It will kill our retail payment system, and these new laws are completely unfeasible," he said.
The law currently does not require digital currency exchanges to conduct an identification check on customers who open accounts
However, some of the operators who spoke with the ABC said they, nevertheless, ask for "100 points of ID" from their customers because it is "best practice".
The imposition of new regulations on digital currency exchanges may also impose high entry barriers to new entrants.
"There is likely to be an ongoing expensive compliance cost, particularly in regards to ongoing transaction monitoring," said BTC Markets' director Jarrod Crane, who is supportive of the proposed laws.
However, he conceded that: "If this regulation was around in 2013, we probably wouldn't have been able to start our business."
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