Australia Sets New Rule For Local Bitcoin Exchanges

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Australia Sets New Rule For Local Bitcoin Exchanges

Australian financial authorities have set new rules to counter money laundering and terrorism financing.

Austrac, the country’s financial intelligence agency, has just published a new web page setting out Australian cryptocurrency exchanges’ new obligations as of April 3. Going forward, exchanges must meet new obligations, which include: registering with the agency, adopting and maintaining an AML/CTF program, identifying and verifying users, and reporting suspicious behaviour and transactions involving fiat currency of AUD 10,000 (USD 7,700) and over. Moreover, they must maintain records for seven years.

The new regulations were first set in law aimed to counter illicit uses of cryptocurrencies, when the Australian Senate approved the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment in December 2017. The bill also gave Austrac oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges.

Another approved bill in October 2017 ended the long-controversial “double taxation” of cryptocurrencies. In the past, cryptocurrencies were taxed upon purchase, then effectively again when buying items subject to the tax – a situation that arose from a previous 2014 law that treated cryptocurrencies as bartered goods.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with the pass of the bill in July 2018 will get the same GST treatment as foreign currencies.

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