Australia Introduces Cryptocurrency Exchange Regulations

  • Australian cryptocurrency exchanges will need to register and report to AUSTRAC
  • The new regulations are already in effect. Failure to comply will lead to "civil penalty consequences."

Australia has just implemented new regulatory obligations cryptocurrency exchanges will need to comply with. A recent announcement published by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) reveals the regulator is pushing against money laundering and seeking to bring forward counter-measures agaisnt terror financing. 

The announcement comes a week after the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) revealed it was seeking public consultation from citizens regarding how it should approach "specific tax events." Specifically, the ATO was looking for the public's views on cryptocurrency taxation, as it "launched a community consultation to help us understand practical issues experienced when complying with cryptocurrency tax obligations.”

According to AUSTRAC, cryptocurrency exchanges will now need to:

  • Adopt and maintain an AML/CTF program to identify, mitigate and manage money laundering and terrorism financing risks
  • Identify and verify the identities of their customers
  • Report to AUSTRAC suspicious matters, and transactions involving physical currency of $10,000 or more
  • Keep certain records for a period of seven years.

The legislation has been in effect for cryptocurrency exchanges since April 3, for a trial period of six months, which will help measure their success and relative impact on the market for users. During the six-month trial period, AUSTRAC CEO will only take action if exchanges don't take "reasonable steps" to comply.

At the end of its announcement, AUSTRAC notd:

"There will be criminal offence and civil penalty consequences if you provide digital currency exchange services without being registered."

AUSTRAC

Cryptocurrency exchanges are being urged to register, presumably to improve their level of accountability within the marketplace. Australia is also incorporating 'transitional registration arrangements' for crypto exchanges, which will come into effect on May 14. These arrangements will allow existing exchanges to continue trading, while transactions and applications are screened for legitimacy.

Indian ‘Godman’ Fugitive Wants to Start island Nation Using Crypto

  • Indian fugitive Nithyananda has announced the creation of his own sovereign nation the Republic of Kailaasa.
  • Kailaasa's economic outline claims that it will use cryptocurrency in lieu of government fiat. 

An Indian “Godman,” has created his own island nation off the coast of Ecuador and is planning to use crypto for the country’s currency in lieu of fiat. 

According to a report by The Guardian, Indian fugitive Nithyananda announced that he had founded the Republic of Kailaasa to serve as a sovereign state and the world’s “greatest and purest Hindu nation.” Nithyananda is currently facing allegations of rape and abduction following his self-anointed title as an Indian “godman.”

The guru previously built up a large spiritual following in India, before being forced on the run by Gujarat police over multiple allegations that he “abducted and confined children to collect donations for his ashram” and raped one of his disciples. 

While Nithyananda’s whereabouts are currently unknown, he announced Dec. 4 that he was establishing a sovereign nation for practicing Hindus. 

According to the report, 

The ‘cosmic country’ will reportedly be established on a private island off the coast of Ecuador, purchased by some of his wealthy devotees. Applications are open for those who want to apply for citizenship and a passport, which allows for ‘free entry in all 11 dimensions and 14 lokas [the 14 worlds of Hinduism] including Kailaasa’

The official website for Kailaasa claims that the country will operate on a Hindu Reserve Bank that will issue its own cryptocurrency. The site criticizes government fiat and the modern banking system for operating to “enrich themselves at the expense of ordinary people“ and being “based on violence.”

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