MEDIA RELEASE, Sydney, Australia, 7 December, 2017
Amendments to Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing laws that passed today will facilitate the accelerated and safe growth of the innovative digital currency sector.
The Australian Digital Currency Association, ADCA, which represents most Australian digital currency businesses, has welcomed the move to formally regulate the digital currency sector that requires digital currency exchanges to register with AUSTRAC and meet AML policy and reporting obligations.
ADCA CEO, Nicholas Giurietto, said "ADCA has been calling for formal regulation of digital currency businesses in Australia since its inception and has been pleased to work with the Australian Government in an extensive consultation process to help ensure that not only the legislation but also the detailed regulation that will follow is as effective as possible."
"ADCA is proud of the fact that our members have been voluntarily adhering to AML/CTF protections for several years ahead of today's legislation and have adopted a consistent, best-practice approach through the Australian Digital Currency Industry Code of Conduct. This will make the transition to the formally regulated environment straight-forward for ADCA members as they already apply AML/CTF safeguards."
Ron Tucker, co-founder of BitTrade, Australia's first digital currency exchange and ADCA Board Chairman, said "Today's legislation means that the digital currency sector faces an equal regulatory playing field with other industries. It combines appropriate AML/CTF protections with business certainty for a growing and dynamic sector."
Giurietto added, "Today's legislation is an important milestone in the growth of a new industry. Importantly, it will give the banking sector the confidence of knowing that digital currency exchanges are now regulated under AML/CTF provisions essentially identical to their own. This should mean that banks can now enter into stable commercial partnerships with digital currency businesses that benefit all parties."
Increasing Consumer Confidence
Regulation of the digital currency sector under AML/CTF legislation is an important step in the maturity of the industry, however, as this legislation is concerned only with AML/CTF issues it does not address other factors such consumer protections.
ADCA CEO, Nicholas Giurietto, encouraged consumers thinking of doing business with a digital currency exchange to look to businesses certified under ADCA's Digital Currency Industry Code of Conduct.
"ADCA members who have been certified under our Digital Currency Industry Code of Conduct have obtained externally audited proof that they have implemented best-practice consumer protections. These include password protection and data security policies, transparent pricing, privacy protections and membership of an external dispute resolution scheme."
"After the passage of today's legislation, consumers doing business with ADCA Certified Digital Currency Businesses, can do so with the peace of mind that not only are appropriate AML/CTF safeguards in place but so are best-practice consumer protections."