Taking a byte at financial crime: New AML/CTF guidance and timelines for digital currency exchanges

Australia’s Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (AML/CTF) regulator, AUSTRAC, has released its guidance with respect to new laws that require digital currency exchange (DCE) providers to register and comply with AML/CTF obligations. AUSTRAC takes a broad approach in interpreting what is covered within the legal definition of a DCE. Essentially, any operation that converts fiat currency (such as the Australian dollar or equivalent) into any digital currency, or vice versa, will be considered by AUSTRAC as a DCE. Because the AML/CTF regime adopts a risk-based approach, when conducting their Money Laundering / Terrorism Financing (ML/TF) risk assessments and developing their AML/CTF Programs, DCE providers should take into account risk factors associated with operating in the “digital world”.  For example, DCE transactions involving proxies, unverifiable IP addresses, disposable email addresses, blacklisted addresses (such as those on the…

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