The Australian government has implemented new regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges. The AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction and Reporting Analysis Centre), reportedly reached out to cryptocurrency exchanges, and businesses involved in the industry, in order to inform them about new requirements they must abide by and implement, which should prevent money laundering and terror-financing. These new requirements were set to commence on April 3rd.
What exactly are these requirements all about? The Australian Government stated clearly on their website:
From 3 April 2018 DCE businesses are required to meet AML/CTF obligations, including:
- 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.
Authorities highlighted that there will be a six month period where the AUSTRAC’s Chief Executive will be overseeing, and interfering with exchanges who fail to comply with their new legal obligations. The new obligations further require all exchanges to be registered with the government by May 14, 2018, latest. Exchanges which are already open and functioning must also register with the new, AUSTRAC ran, “Digital Currency Exchange Register”. However existing exchanges will be permitted to continue with their business as they go through the new registration process due to “Transitional Registration Arrangements.” Government authorities announced publicly.. “There will be criminal offense and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered.”
Michael Keenan, Australia’s Justice Minister, was the one to break the news regarding the government’s will to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges. Under the new regulations, the AUSTRAC will have a much stronger grasp of the country’s digital currency exchanges and they will put themselves in a better position to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities. All exchanges will now be under the watch of Australia’s Financial Intelligence Agency, the AUSTRAC.
By Jaime Gutt.