Australian Crypto Exchanges Now Required To Register With AUSTRACbr>
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s financial intelligence agency, has announced that Australian cryptocurrency exchanges are now required to register with the agency and meet their obligations.
AUSTRAC said that the country’s new regulative apparatus pertaining to cryptocurrencies has formally been adopted as law. The agency reminded crypto exchange businesses of their mandatory requirement to meet anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations that went into effect yesterday.
AUSTRAC said a ‘policy principles’ period of six months will be in place from April 3. During that period, the AUSTRAC CEO can only take enforcement action if a crypto exchange business fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply.
Under the new AML/CTF laws, crypto exchange providers would be required to adopt and maintain AML/CTF programs to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks; identify and verify the identities of their customers; report to AUSTRAC suspicious matters; and on transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more, keep certain records for seven years.
Existing crypto exchange businesses will need to register for the transitional registration arrangements by May 14. AUSTRAC warns that there will be criminal offense and civil penalty consequences if companies provide such services without being registered.
Crypto exchanges Independent Reserve and CoinSpot are the first to confirm compliance with new AML-CTF rules.
Independent Reserve CEO Adrian Przelozny said in a statement that the regulations would help legitimize cryptocurrencies. “We have been lobbying for increased regulation since we opened for business in 2014,” Przelozny said. “We passionately believe that the digital currency economy will – and should – become just another part of the mainstream economy. In order for that to happen, digital currency needs to be regulated just like any other asset class. This is an excellent new step on that journey.”
The new rules comes a week after the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) announced that it was seeking public consultation from citizens regarding how the agency should “approach specific tax events.”