Australia’s Blockbid Exchange Gets Cryptocurrency License

Blockbid license comes after introduction of new crypto regulation.

by Marin Marinov
09 April • 4 min
In Regulation

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has awarded a cryptocurrency exchange license to Blockbid, the company announced on Monday. The move comes after the introduction of new regulations that oblige crypto exchanges to register under anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing rules (CTF).

“This is a big step not only for the Australian cryptocurrency space but also for our company as it means that our vision to allow you to trade with confidence has been acknowledged by the Australian government under AML/CTF guidelines,” Blockbid COO David Sapper said after obtaining the AUSTRAC license.

Blockbid launch

Blockbid is still under preparation for official launching. The platform raised USD 1.2 million from the sale of its own BID token through an initial coin offering (ICO) that ended in November 2017.

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Blockbid is scheduled to go live on April 16 by releasing a Beta version, with full launch scheduled for 2019. The Beta period will have three phases:

• initial trial period with selected number of users who will trade with no real money. The aim is to test the system and to make improvements;

• open the Beta version to the general public with trading of five cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Ripple (XRP) and Litecoin (LTC), and four fiat currencies - USD, EUR, AUD and JPY;

• introduction of more altcoins such as Ethereum (ETH), Dash (DASH), Fujicoin (FJC), and Unitus (UIS) among others.

New AML/CTF regulation

Blockbid has become the third Australian platform that is granted official license for crypto trading after the new regulations came into force on April 3. The legal framework obliges crypto exchanges to register under anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules. The Australian law defines crypto trading platforms as digital currency exchange providers (DCE).

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The regulator that supervises AML and CTF compliance is the Australian financial intelligence agency, AUSTRAC, not the financial services regulator, ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission). Digital currency exchange providers should follow the provisions of the AML/CTF Act, Registration AML/CFT rules and AUSTRAC compliance guide.

AUSTRAC’s anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing rules are in line with FATF Recommendations. Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is an inter-governmental body for fighting financial crimes and comprises 37 members, including Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany, Russia and China. It sets up standards for combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

Last month, G20 finance ministers and central bank governors called for a global implementation of FATF standards on crypto assets. Australia is a member of the G20 group of the world’s largest economies.