The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrade) will be monitoring cryprocurrency exchanges after the Australian Senate passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017 on Thursday.
The amendment bill, which was introduced in August, was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and took the Senate one day to pass.
Under the amended legislation, digital currency exchange providers will be required to enroll with Austrac and register on the Digital Currency Exchange Register, the government agency now maintains.
Exchanges will also need to adopt and maintain a program to identify, mitigate, and manage the money laundering and terrorism financing risks they may face. Similar to a bank, the exchange must also identify and verify the identities of their customers; and report suspicious matters, international transactions, and transactions involving physical currency that exceeds AU$10,000 to Austrac.
They will also be required to keep certain records related to transactions, customer identification, and their program for seven years.
The updated Anti Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 defines a digital currency as a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a store of economic value, or a unit of account that is not issued by, or under the authority of, a government body, and is interchangeable with money in that it may be used as consideration for the supply of goods or services.
The changes to the legislation means that for the purpose of…