Australia has been very direct and positive in terms of cryptocurrency regulation and is already implementing some of its bigger plans, such as exchange registration. However, their plans and rules relating to cryptocurrencies are not unreasonable, stifling, or damaging, rather, they could be viewed as progressive and potentially uplifting for both the country and cryptocurrencies in general.
Australia may not be the biggest market for Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies, but it is a growing one. As it stands, Australia is ranked 14th globally for BTC volume by currency. At time of publishing, the Australian dollar (AUD) saw volumes of [AUD $2,810,190, or 276 BTC] over a 24-hour period.
To put that into perspective, Japan sits on top, with a 60 percent dominance, processing 30,1404 BTC over 24 hours. Australia’s market activities pale in comparison to Japan’s, but globally, they are a rather large player.
Exchange regulation and licensing
On April 11, the Australian government, through the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), announced tangible plans to implement new rules on cryptocurrency exchanges. The major one being that, “Digital currency exchanges (DCE), with a business operation located in Australia must now register with AUSTRAC and meet the Government’s AML/CTF [Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorism Financing] compliance and reporting obligations,” the announcement read.
They have already licensed three exchanges: Melbourne-based BTC Markets and Sydney-based Independent Reserve being another, which is underpinned by the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA). AUSTRAC have set a deadline of May 14 for the rest of those within the country to comply.
As is often the case with governmental regulation of cryptocurrencies, the main aim is to stop [money laundering and terrorism financing conducted in cryptocurrencies because of their anonymous and global nature. However, the report states that “regulation will also help strengthen public and consumer confidence in the sector,” AUSTRAC CEO Nicole Rose commented.
That truly is the crux of Australia’s attempts to regulate cryptocurrency in the country. The country is trying to protect its citizens and and financial sector, but at the same time, trying to grow and incorporate the technology.