Crypto Exhanges Monitored By Australian Financial Intelligence Agency

News, Regulation | December 11, 2017 By:

The Australian government has passed a new law that would regulate the activities of digital currency exchange service providers in the country.

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017, first filed with the Australian parliament in August, expands the scope of the Act to include regulation of digital currency exchange providers; clarify due diligence obligations relating to correspondent banking relationships; and broadening the scope of these relationships.

The new bill also mandates digital currency exchanges to register with the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the government’s financial intelligence agency set up to monitor financial transactions to identify money laundering, organized crime, tax evasion, welfare fraud and terrorism.

Digital currency exchanges will receive the same treatment as physical cash in a bank with regards to money laundering and transactions suspected to be supportive of terrorism. Exchanges must also identify and verify the identities of their customers and report suspicious matters, international transactions, and transactions involving physical currency that exceeds AU$10,000 to AUSTRAC.

Failure to comply with the new law carries a minimum penalty of two years in prison and a fine of AUD 105,000, while violators in more serious offenses could face a fine of AUD 420,000 for individuals and AUD 2.1 million for corporations.