Australian Watchdog to Apply Market Rules to Crypto Exchanges
A top Australian financial regulator has indicated it will take a new approach when regulating cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as tighten scrutiny of initial coin offerings (ICOs),. In its a corporate plan for 2018–2022, released Friday, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) outlined its areas of focus for the period. Top of that list is to continue "monitoring threats of harm from emerging products" such as ICOs and cryptocurrencies.
Further, for 2018 and 2019, ASIC said it is developing a new framework that will apply "the principles for regulating market infrastructure providers to crypto exchanges" and will intervene where "there is poor behavior and potential harm to consumers and investors."
According to the ASIC website, its current market infrastructure principals include a licensing scheme, via which it seeks to supervise financial market operators, settlement facilities, derivative trading and market participants.
Currently, cryptocurrency exchanges in Australia are required to comply with know-your-customer and anti-money laundering standards enforced by Austrac, the country's financial intelligence agency.
ASIC, however, has not issued any pertinent regulation for crypto exchanges, but did published guidelines last year for businesses wishing to conduct ICOs.