Within the reform of governmental anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing law Australian authorities published a revision of the bill according to which bitcoin exchanges will be strictly controlled by the law. The Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee give priority to the regulation of digital currency operators.
The main measures applied to digital currency exchanges include the possibility of imposing civil penalties for operators of digital currency exchange services which are not registered, and enabling chief executive of Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre to expand or narrow the boundaries of the digital currency definition.
AGD informed the committee that this aspect of the bill reflects technological advancements in digital currency. It noted that the current regulatory regime under the AML/CTF Act was designed in 2006 and applies only to an 'e-currency', which is 'backed by a physical thing. It excludes convertible digital currencies, such as Bitcoin, which are backed by a cryptographic algorithm'.
Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017
The approach of the committee to regulation is supported by an overview of the current legislation in accordance with the recommendations of the Attorney General (AGD). Legal Board called for recommendations on possible exemptions for transactions with a low value of less than $ 1,000 at bitcoin exchanges while The Law Council called imprisonment in connection with aggravating offenses between 2-4 years and even up to 7 years in cases which are extremely severe.
As soon as the committee recommended the bill to be introduced, the new service and register will be designated within six month’s from the adoption of the bill.