The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) has received the green signal to monitor bitcoin exchanges.
Aimed to counter illicit uses of cryptocurrencies, the announcement comes soon after the Australian Senate approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017.
This means that cryptocurrency exchanges in the country will have to register with the country’s financial intelligence agency and be placed on a dedicated register. Austrac will also be required to set up procedures for countering risks of money laundering and terrorism financing, verifying customers’ identities, and maintaining some records for seven years.
Financial companies hope the legislation will bring “legitimacy” to exchanges operating in Australia.
The situation arose from the previous law, enacted in 2014, which treated cryptocurrencies as bartered goods for goods and services tax (GST) purposes.