Archive: August 31, 2017

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Federal Government extends AML/CTF regulation to capture digital currency exchanges

Federal Government extends AML/CTF regulation to capture digital currency exchanges

By Michelle Chasser and Felix Charlesworth

On Thursday 17 August 2017, the Minister for Justice tabled the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Amendment Bill 2017 (Bill).

The Bill will extend the Australian AML regime to cover digital currency exchange providers. Currently the AML regime applies only to ‘e-currencies’ which are backed by physical things such as bullion or precious metals while digital currencies backed by a cryptographic algorithm such as Bitcoin are excluded. The Bill repeals the definition of ‘e-currency’ and replaces it with the broader term ‘digital currency’ which is defined as a digital representation of value that:

  • functions as a medium of exchange;
  • is not issued by the authority of a government body;
  • is interchangeable with money; and
  • is generally available to members of the public.

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