Australia Now Requires Crypto Exchanges To Register Their Operations

Apr 03, 2018 at 23:35

Australian cryptocurrency exchanges are now required to register their operations with the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) effective April 3, 2018.

In an announcement posted on its website, AUSTRAC said it has laid down new requirements digital currency exchange (DCE) providers to meet their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) obligations.

These obligations include:
—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

Cryptocurrency exchanges have a six-month window starting today to comply with the new policy. “During that period, the AUSTRAC CEO can only take enforcement action if a DCE business fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply,” the agency said.

Meanwhile, existing DCE operators are required to register until May 14. AUSTRAC said they can continue providing services while their registration application is ongoing.

“There will be criminal offence and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered,” the regulator said.

In December 2017, the Australian Senate passed a law requiring bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges operators to register with AUSTRAC, in line with its government’s thrust to reform AML/CTF laws.