Terrorists are exploiting crypto-currencies to fund their deadly missions, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned.
Dutton says the anonymity of the online currencies allows extremists to escape scrutiny.
“The anonymity afforded by such technologies enables terrorist financiers to obfuscate their activities,” he told a counter-terror conference in Melbourne on Thursday.
“The increasing use of digital and crypto-currencies, stored-value cards, online payment systems and crowd-funding platforms provide new channels through which terrorism may be financed.”
He said countries need to stay ahead of modern financing measures, while also warning terrorists continue to use traditional methods, like ransom money and fraudulent charities.
He called on Australia’s private lenders to help join the fight, saying nations needed to embrace expertise from outside governments.
Greater scrutiny of charities and not-for-profits is also needed, having become popular terror financing conduits.
“In many cases, not-for-profits are not even aware that they are being taken advantage of,” Dutton said.
Dutton pointed to the work of Australia’s anti-money laundering watchdog, AUSTRAC, in the Indo-Pacific to combat the terrorist groups ISIS and al-Qaeda.
The minister also lumped Islamist extremism and far-right extremism in with “environmental radicalism.”