While digital currencies in recent months have experienced more ups and downs than a fiddler’s elbow, AUSTRAC has powered ahead in bringing in its new regulations for digital currency exchange (DCE) providers (see our previous article).

The following is a summary of the transitional periods by which DCE providers must register with AUSTRAC:

  • If you were already enrolled with AUSTRAC before 3 April 2018 (for example, you provide other designated services regulated under the AML/CTF Act)—update your enrolment details by 11 June 2018.
  • If you provided DCE services before 3 April 2018 (but are not already enrolled with AUSTRAC)—apply for registration by 14 May 2018.
  • If you start to provide DCE services between 3 April and 14 May 2018—apply for registration by 14 May 2018.
  • If you intend to start providing DCE services from 15 May 2018—register with AUSTRAC before you start providing these services.

Criminal offence and civil penalty consequences will apply after 14 May 2018 for providing DCE services while unregistered, however, AUSTRAC has indicated that they will adopt a facilitative approach until October 2018 if ‘reasonable steps’ were taken by the DCE provider to comply with the obligations.