The Australian Securities and Investment Commission published new initial coin offering and cryptocurrency guidelines.
The regulator detailed the prerequisites that a cryptocurrency business needs to follow in order to comply with both the Australian Corporations and ASIC Acts, but did not cover regulations enforced by other national institutions. Notably, the guideline specified that if a crypto asset is a financial product, then the issuer and firms dealing with it are required to hold an Australian financial services license.
The report also notes that miners will be considered part of the clearing and settlement process in at least some instances:
“Where miners and transaction processors are part of the clearing and settlement (CS) process for tokens that are financial products Australian laws apply.”
The regulator also noted that “entities and their advisers need to consider all the rights and features of the ICO (regardless of how it is named and marketed) in determining whether the crypto asset is a financial product or involves a financial product.” The report further specifies that exchanges managing such assets will need to hold a license as well, since the guidelines notes:
“Businesses offering crypto-assets, or offering services in relation to crypto assets, need to undertake appropriate inquiries to satisfy themselves they are complying with all relevant Australian laws.”
Lastly, the ASIC also noted that Know Your Client and Anti-Money Laundering norms apply to crypto assets, as does the Australian Consumer Law, including cases when the assets are issued or managed from abroad.
At the end of April, Australia’s tax agency, the Australian Tax Office, confirmed that it will seek to contact cryptocurrency traders personally about tax issues as part of a new data collection scheme.