The Australian government is looking to update its anti-money laundering laws to include bitcoin and other digital currency exchanges.
According to a consultation document published this week by the Australian Attorney-General’s Department, the government wants to begin drafting legislative proposals by the middle of next year. The goal is to begin finalizing that legislation in 2018.
To get there, the government is soliciting public comment on the proposal, which comes amid a broader push to revise the country's money laundering laws, between now and the end of 2017. For now, the proposal is in an early stage, with relatively few details available as to how the legislation might be drafted or what kinds of companies beyond exchange services would be covered.
The agency wrote:
The proposed plan was released months after the Australian government released a broad policy statement on fintech, which included proposals to reduce the tax burden on bitcoin activity in the country and explore other legislative options related to the technology. At the time, the Australian Treasury indicated support for “a high-level guiding legislative framework” to govern how the country’s financial industry would integrate blockchain tech.
It also aligns with recommendations from the Australian Senate earlier this year, which called for such a move.
Image via Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.