Australia Nearing Decision on Bitcoin Exchange Regulation

The Australian government has officially responded to a Senate report that offered regulatory recommendations for digital currencies.

AccessTimeIconMay 11, 2016 at 4:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:16 p.m. UTC
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The Australian government has officially responded to a Senate report in which lawmakers argued that the country should bring domestic digital currency exchanges under existing anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) rules.

In newly issued remarks, the Australian government indicated that it agrees with this recommendation and that it expects a review of the relevant laws to be released shortly.

"The review is considering a range of measures to support the development of the FinTech industry, including whether Australia’s existing AML/CTF regime should be extended to include convertible digital currency exchanges and how to make the obligations under the AML/CTF regime technology neutral," the statements read.

The government went on to indicate that such an approach would put Australia in line with decisions made by the UK and Canada, as well as recommendations made by the international standards body Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The response continued:

"Australia’s review is considering these and alternative approaches to addressing the money laundering and terrorism financing risks posed by digital currencies."

Elsewhere, the Australian government reiterated it is committed to fostering innovation in FinTech, and that it plans to make further changes to existing laws to accommodate those using blockchains and digital currencies.

For example, the government agreed consumers using digital currencies should not be taxed twice, an issue that has raised considerable attention internationally, and indicated it would explore the appropriate tax treatment of digital currencies as well as whether it should create a special task force to monitor the industry.

Read the full response here:

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