- Australia wants cryptocurrency providers to register with AUSTRAC.
- Regulator gets serious about anti-money laundering regulation.
Australian regulator wants to take cryptocurrency services providers under control to prevent money-laundering activities and minimize risks of terrorism financing and cybercrime.
As of today, all crypto service providers located in Australia shall register with AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial intelligence agency and anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator, and bring their business in compliance with Government’s AML/CTF rules, according to the information, published on the regulator's website.
The requirements take effect immediately, though the companies will have time to register until 14 May 2018 and implement AUSTRAC anti-money laundering rules.
“It’s recognized that this reform will help protect their business operations from money laundering and terrorism financing, while regulation will also help strengthen public and consumer confidence in the sector,” AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose said in the statement.
“AUSTRAC now has increased opportunities to facilitate the sharing of financial intelligence and information relating to the use of digital currencies, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, with its industry and government partners,” Ms. Rose added.
The new rules are part of broader reforms aimed at strengthening the countries anti-money laundering standards. It was initiated after global watchdog Financial Action Task Force (FATF) revealed significant drawbacks in country's regulation.
South Korea is also implementing strict AML rules towards cryptocurrency providers. The Financial Services Commission (FSC) initiated inspection of three banks to make sure that they comply with new rules for cryptocurrency exchange accounts.