A growing number of cryptocurrency exchanges have been registered with Australia’s crypto regulator. A spokesperson for the government agency overseeing the crypto industry confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com on Monday that the regulator has already registered 312 crypto exchanges.
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312 Registered Crypto Exchanges
The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country’s financial intelligence agency and anti-money laundering regulator, has been regulating the crypto industry since April 2018. A spokesperson for the regulator told news.Bitcoin.com on Monday that “Since April 2018, AUSTRAC has regulated digital currency exchange providers to minimize the risk of criminals using them for money laundering, terrorism financing and cybercrime,” adding:
Currently, there are 312 digital currency exchange providers registered and enrolled with AUSTRAC.
This latest number represents a 27% increase, or 66 more crypto exchanges, from the number a spokesperson for the regulator told news.Bitcoin.com in February last year. At that time, 246 entities had been registered with AUSTRAC.
Crypto Regulatory Framework in Australia
The spokesperson further explained that Australia’s “Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires digital currency exchange providers to formally register with AUSTRAC and implement anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls within their business.” According to the agency’s website:
If you are a digital currency exchange provider, you must be registered with AUSTRAC before you can provide digital currency exchange services. It is against the law to provide digital currency exchange services in Australia without being registered.
If registered crypto exchanges do not meet their obligations for anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, AUSTRAC can take steps to enforce compliance and seek a penalty.
So far, the regulator has canceled the registration of three companies: Webpark Pty. Ltd., Auscoin ATM Pty. Ltd., and ACN 625 238 735 Pty. Ltd. In addition, the registration of Cryptocurrency Transaction Machines Pty. Ltd. has been suspended. Three more companies were refused registration: Jwon1 Pty. Ltd., Easy Bitcoin Trading Pty. Ltd., and The Gold Buying Company Pty. Ltd. The regulatory, however, does not publish the list of all approved crypto exchange service providers.
Meanwhile, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for regulating crypto assets and tokens that fall under the definition of financial products, including companies seeking to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs). Australian securities laws may apply, including the requirement to hold an Australian financial services license, which is needed to conduct a financial services business in the country.
What do you think of the number of registered crypto exchanges in Australia? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and AUSTRAC.
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