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When in Rome: Warning to Overseas ICOs from Aussie Regulators

When in Rome: Warning to Overseas ICOs from Aussie Regulators

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The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Commissioner John Price has announced that the securities watchdog plans to extend guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in accordance with Australian Law.

In a fintech event in Sydney last week, Price revealed to the audience that updates are in the pipeline which will affect overseas ICO fundraising projects. Australian cryptocurrency legislators have been concerned for some time that ICOs can be registered overseas to escape regulation in Australia:

“We will highlight that Australian corporate and consumer law might apply – even if an ICO is created and offered from overseas. This is an important point given the international nature of this sector.”

Price went on to make it clear that Australian laws would apply “if you are doing business here and selling something to Australians – including issuing securities or tokens to Australian consumers”.  He continued to make the point that due to “a certain level of opportunism” in the cryptocurrency space, businesses would need more thorough scrutiny.

The ASIC commissioner reiterated past comments by the organization that the crypto industry needed a “more secure sector” which could sustain public confidence and that he was committed the current collaboration with other domestic and international regulators to combat money laundering and clarify a framework for cryptocurrencies.

As from 3 April 2018, cryptocurrency exchanges throughout Australia must now follow new rules designed to combat money laundering and terrorism financing. Providing digital currency services without registration will be deemed a criminal offence under the new laws. This follows the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Bill 2017 passed last year by the Australian Senate. It was the second new bill to successfully pass through the Senate concerning cryptocurrency regulation. The first dealt with Australia’s controversial and unpopular double taxation of cryptocurrencies.

Australia’s attempts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry have so far been successful in its endeavors to protect citizens and the financial sector while developing and incorporating the technology into the infrastructure of the country.

image source: helen 35


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