On April 3, the Australian government confirmed officially that for exchanges to operate in the country, they must further abide by the anti-money laundering rules. The information available on AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre) says that digital Cryptocurrency Exchanges will now require to undergo the process of reporting and identity checking procedures and hence they need to register with the authorities as well.
Additional duties of the exchange now include adopting and maintaining the AML/CTF program, while report suspicious behaviour or transactions that involve fiat currencies of above A$10,000 (US$7,700). The exchanges are also asked to maintain all the records for the period of seven years.
However, if exchanges fail to comply with getting registered, they will be subjected to criminal charges and penalties. In its post, AUSTRAL notes: “A ‘policy principles’ period of six months will be in place from 3 April 2018. During that period, the AUSTRAC CEO can only take enforcement action if [a Cryptocurrency Exchanges] fails to take ‘reasonable steps’ to comply.”
In the meantime when the exchange’s registration applications are getting considered, a simultaneous arrangement will allow the existing exchanges to continue providing its services. But still, the exchanges need to get registered by May 14.
Back in December 2017, the Australian government already introduced new regulations which were set in place after the Australian Senate approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill.
Governments across the globe have stepped up the regulatory measures due to increasing reports of the illicit use of digital currencies, and Australia is the latest one to join this club.