Australia launches new Crypto guidelines, AML policies and identification of users become compulsory

Australia launches new Crypto guidelines, AML policies and identification of users become compulsory recently reported that Australia launched new guidelines regarding cryptocurrency exchanges on April 3, 2018. Now, all the businesses indulged in the digital currency trade or exchange will have to comply with the anti-money laundering/counter-terrorism financing laws of the country.

AUSTRAC, Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre, has issued a guideline which describes the primary objective of a digital currency exchange. It focuses on mitigating any incidents of money laundering and terrorist financing.

The documents state that every crypto exchange working in Australia has to verify and identify its customers and keep particular records for seven years. It should also report any suspicious matter and transactions that involve the use of a physical currency of $10,00 or more to AUSTRAC.

A “policy principles” period will be in progress for the upcoming six months from April 3, 2018. During this time “the AUSTRAC CEO can only take enforcement action if a DCE business fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply.” The six month period will include “Transitional registration arrangements” applied to “existing businesses to allow them to continue providing services while their registration application being considered.”  The existing crypto exchanges will have to file for registration by May 14.  Any exchange which does not report to AUSTRAC will suffer “criminal offense and civil penalty consequences.”

In March, the Australian Taxation Office stated that it wants public’s opinion over ATO’s approach towards particular tax events. It “launched a community consultation to help us understand practical issues experienced when complying with cryptocurrency tax obligations.”

Australia is not the first country to adopt specific rules for crypto control. reported that two Japanese crypto exchanges chose to shut down due to new government guidelines.  Mr. Exchange and Tokyo GateWay will cease their operations once returning funds to the investors. Many operators have already chosen to stop their functions in the Japanese market. The two crypto exchanges did apply to secure a license according to government’s decision of April 2017.

Mr. Exchange launched a statement which read, “While this is a regrettable result, at present we have determined that it is difficult to be in a state of readiness to be able to respond to changes in the virtual currency landscape, so we decided to withdraw the application for a virtual currency exchange business.”

On the other hand, Antigua and Barbuda are trying to set up a domestic crypto exchange for the betterment of country’s economy.  The government aims to tap into the enormous possibilities digital currency brings by taking initial measures to use the technology favorably.

Bitcoin also made the news when two sitting ministers from Queensland’s legislature revealed their investments in the digital currency. The declaration was made following the state’s register of members’ interests.

Australia has become home turf for the crypto community and the recent guideline issued by the government will undoubtedly change the crypto atmosphere forever.  The government has a huge task in hand to manage all the crypto exchange and make a network on the basis of sheer trust. As of now, any counter-reaction from crypto exchanges will not come as a surprise.

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Paul is the creator and host of ‘The Coinversation’, a podcast that focuses on the developments of cryptocurrency, interviewing a wide range of experts and entrepreneurs as well as building upon the work of Bitcoin Chaser’s analysts. To know more about Paul, follow him on Twitter.