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Australia announces: Inclusion of cryptocurrency transactions under anti-money laundering supervision

Australia is taking action to include cryptocurrency providers within the direct jurisdiction of AUSTRAC (Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Center - Australia's Money Laundering Regulatory Authority).

Reuters reported that the operation will take effect immediately. A few months after AUSTRAC filed a money-laundering lawsuit against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), regulators imposed new registration requirements on cryptocurrency exchanges hoping to drastically reduce the risks of cybercrime, terrorist financing, and money laundering.

Hard months

In the past few months, issues related to financial crimes, including scams related to cryptocurrencies, seem to have caused damage to the Australian market. Fraudulent Bitcoin websites and Ponzi schemes have cost Australian Bitcoin users more than about 10.69 million US dollars. It casts a shadow over Bitcoin transactions in the first quarter of 2018.

Just a few days ago, the CBA announced that it would ban all credit cards from buying virtual currency on the grounds that "the virtual currency does not meet the minimum standards of regulation, reliability and credibility compared to the currency we provide to our customers." Ironically, the bank itself also faces hundreds of money laundering complaints.

Specific transaction information needs to be reported

Despite recent regulations, the overall attitude of the country to cryptocurrency is open and positive. In February of this year, the major local banks announced that they would not prohibit Bitcoin . In addition, Australians can now buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) from more than 1,200 newsstands across the country .

Given the proliferation of fraudulent currency-related fraud, Australia requires all cryptographic currency providers to “collect information to determine the identity of customers, monitor transactions, report suspicious or involve transactions with cash in excess of 10,000 Australian dollars (US$7,755),” which seems to It is a very valuable practice.

The recent demands of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act (AML/CTF) have given the national supervisory agencies more supervision capabilities.

Nicole Rose, chief executive of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC), said:

The information collected and reported by these companies to AUSTRAC will have an immediate effect in combating serious crimes and terrorist financing.
This seems to be consistent with ACIC's August report:

Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are increasingly being used by serious organized criminal groups.
However, whether this move will help prevent fraud and crime related to cryptocurrency, let's wait and see. In addition, the laws that have been enacted do not apply to lawyers, accountants, real estate agents and other institutions. This is still questionable.