20 September 2017
Find out more

Australia regulates digital currencies

18 August 2017  |  17073 views  |  0 Bitcoin

The Australian government has announced plans to strengthen its anti-money laundering rules with new reforms that will include digital currencies for the first time.

The plan follows the recent scandal involving its biggest bank, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), which fell foul of rules around anti-money laundering and terrorist financing.

The new legislation will also strengthen the remit of the financial intelligency agency Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac), the agency which initiated the legal action against the CBA earlier this month. 

“Stopping the movement of money to criminals and terrorists is a vital part of our national security defences and we expect regulated businesses in Australia to comply with our comprehensive regime,” said Michael Keenan, Australia’s justice minister.

Keenan also stressed that the new laws would be balanced - bolstering the threat against organised crime and money laundering but not hindering the development of legitimate financial organisations or Australia's fintech ambitions.

The proposal follows the introduction of similar measures in Japan this year that stipulates crypto-currency exchanges must conduct annual audits and comply with the same Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering rules applied to traditional exchanges and institutions.

Japan was the first national government to take such action, prompted by the 2014 bankruptcy of Mt Gox, the world's largest virtual currency exchange. By granting virtual currencies full legal status as a payment method, analysts say it has helped to raise the price of bitcoins in Japan.

The proposed legislation has been welcomed by the Australian Digital Currency & Commerce Association which said it will increase safeguards and provide regulatory certainty to digital currency businesses. 

It is also hoped that new laws will help to promote the Fintel Alliance, a private public partnership between banks and other institutions to provide intelligence to Australia's regulators - an initiative that was undermined by the recent CBA case, in which the bank was alleged to have failed to report more than 50,000 questionable transactions to Austrac. 

Comments: (0)

Comment on this story (membership required)

Finextra news in your inbox

For Finextra's free daily newsletter, breaking news flashes and weekly jobs board: sign up now

Related stories

CBA blames money laundering reporting failures on ATM coding error

CBA blames money laundering reporting failures on ATM coding error

07 August 2017  |  9366 views  |  1 comments | 4 tweets | 6 linkedin
Sydney set to challenge Singapore as global fintech hub

Sydney set to challenge Singapore as global fintech hub

01 August 2017  |  6184 views  |  0 comments | 4 tweets | 4 linkedin
Cryptocurrency exchange operator indicted over massive bitcoin laundering scam

Cryptocurrency exchange operator indicted over massive bitcoin laundering scam

27 July 2017  |  8840 views  |  0 comments | 7 tweets | 12 linkedin
Regtech rises up the agenda in Australia

Regtech rises up the agenda in Australia

26 May 2017  |  9621 views  |  0 comments | 18 tweets | 4 linkedin
Australian budget promises a raft of reforms to boost fintech

Australian budget promises a raft of reforms to boost fintech

09 May 2017  |  5442 views  |  0 comments | 10 tweets | 9 linkedin
EC plans tougher AML rules for virtual currency exchanges

EC plans tougher AML rules for virtual currency exchanges

06 July 2016  |  7457 views  |  0 comments | 11 tweets | 16 linkedin
Australian claims he is Bitcoin creator

Australian claims he is Bitcoin creator

02 May 2016  |  6690 views  |  0 comments | 3 tweets | 6 linkedin

Related company news

 

Related blogs

Create a blog about this story (membership required)
visit www.sibos.comvisit www.abe-eba.euvisit www.temenos.com

Who is commenting?

Top topics

Most viewed Most shared
HSBC switches on selfie payments in ChinaHSBC switches on selfie payments in China
11158 views comments | 24 tweets | 40 linkedin
Equifax hack: Visa and Mastercard flag 200k compromised credit cardsEquifax hack: Visa and Mastercard flag 200...
10474 views comments | 6 tweets | 17 linkedin
Dutch bank sentences teenage DDoS culprit to community serviceDutch bank sentences teenage DDoS culprit...
9242 views comments | 6 tweets | 3 linkedin
UAE banks pool cyber security dataUAE banks pool cyber security data
7735 views comments | 5 tweets | 4 linkedin
ING moves into digital wealth management with Scalable CapitalING moves into digital wealth management w...
7514 views comments | 14 tweets | 15 linkedin

Featured job

Competitive base + commission + benefits
Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden

Find your next job