Australia’s New Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulations


AUSTRAC (the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center) has recently come out with a number of new regulations imposing unified AML and KYC obligations on cryptocurrency exchanges (“Digital Currency Exchanges” or DCE in local jargon). This regime’s purpose is to ensure solidarity and quality of the DCE’s AML practices in order to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing which may be done through them.

The main requirements are similar to common AML requirements, and include adopting and publishing an AML/KYC policy, sufficiently identifying and verifying customers’ identities, reporting suspicious transactions and transactions of a value that exceeds 10,000 AUD, as well as record keeping.

Effectively, this means there now exists a relatively simple and economic way to operate legally as a cryptocurrency exchange in Australia, which also paves the way to opening bank accounts with local Australian banks.

The application process includes providing some personal information and KYC materials of the directors and shareholders, as well as filing the necessary application form to AUSTRAC, as well as KYC documents of the persons behind the company. The company applying for the license must specify the details of the compliance officer (which could be the director). This is the official executive who would be responsible for the enforcement and implementation of the AML/KYC program as required by the regulation. The form also required specification of the shareholders and directors’ identity and details. Other than the form, KYC documents of the directors and shareholders is required.

For enquiries about obtaining this license, contact us.