Australia announces new cryptocurrency exchange regulations
All Australian cryptocurrency exchanges have to abide by the new rules to meet the Anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) obligations effective from April 3rd.
This information was announced on the website of the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre(AUSTRAC) which is the country’s financial intelligence agency.
The rules mentioned in the website are:
- adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks
- identifying and verifying the identities of their customers
- reporting to AUSTRAC suspicious matters, and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more
- keeping certain records for seven years.
The website also mentions:
A ‘policy principles’ period of six months will be in place from 3 April 2018. During that period, the AUSTRAC CEO can only take enforcement action if a DCE business fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply.
Transitional registration arrangements will be in place for existing businesses to allow them to continue providing services while their registration application is being considered. Existing businesses providing DCE services will need to register by 14 May 2018.
There will be criminal offence and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered.
This action is taken by the government to ensure better identity checking and seal the loopholes to prevent money laundering.
In August 2017 the as reported by CCN, Australia’s minister for justice Michael Keenan confirmed that the country’s bitcoin and digital currency exchanges will be regulated for the first time. AUSTRAC’s authority was enhanced with the bill passed in December 2017.
CoinDesk reports “With the passing of the bill, as of July 1, 2018, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will get the same GST treatment as foreign currencies.”
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