An increasing number of cryptocurrency exchanges have been registered with the Australian crypto regulator. A spokesman for the government agency responsible for regulating the cryptocurrency industry confirmed on Monday that the agency has registered 312 crypto exchanges.
312 exchanges registered
The Australian Transaction Reporting and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), the country's financial intelligence and anti-money laundering regulator, has been monitoring the crypto industry since April 2018. A spokesman for the regulator said:
"Since April 2018, AUSTRAC has regulated digital currency transaction providers to minimize the risk of criminals using them for money laundering, terrorist financing and cybercrime."
"At present, there are 312 digital currency dealers registered with AUSTRAC."
A spokesman for the regulator said that this latest figure means a 27% increase in the number of cryptocurrency exchanges, or 66. Last February, 246 entities were registered with AUSTRAC.
Australian crypto regulatory framework
The spokesperson further explained that Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires digital currency transaction providers to formally register in Australia and implement anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing controls within their business. According to the agency's website:
"If you are a digital currency trading provider, you must register with AUSTRAC to provide digital currency trading services. It is illegal to provide digital currency trading services in Australia without registration."
If a registered crypto exchange fails to fulfill its anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing obligations, AUSTRAC can take steps to enforce compliance and impose penalties.
To date, the regulator has cancelled the registration of three companies: Webpark Pty. Ltd., Auscoin ATM Pty. Ltd., and ACN 625 238 735 Pty. Ltd. In addition, the registration of Cryptocurrency Transaction Machines Pty. Ltd. has been suspended. Three other companies have been refused registration. However, the regulator did not release a list of approved crypto exchanges.
At the same time, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) oversees crypto assets and tokens, which are defined as financial products, including companies that raise funds through ICOs. Australian securities laws may require relevant cryptocurrency companies to hold an Australian financial services license, which is required to conduct financial services business in the country.