Australian Financial Authority: ICOs and Cryptocurrencies Should Have Tighter Regulations

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Klaus Kumpfmüller and Helmut Ettl, board of directors of Australian Financial Market Authority (FMA), have offered proposals on how to implements stricter regulations for ICOs and cryptocurrencies. Kumpfmüller proposed a “threshold-dependent” prospectus requirement for ICOs similar to that of securities. The FMA executive committee has set two million euros as a “reasonable” threshold amount. Kumpfmüller also said that there is a need for concession obligation for distributors of cryptocurrencies and that these “will be treated like securities in the future”.

Ettle also made a comparison between the old restriction saying, “For the purchase and sale of foreign currency you need a mini-bank license.” Under Australian law, there is no analogous regulation with regards to trading cryptocurrencies. Last year, 30 statements regarding suspected legal violations were submitted by the FMA. This is in connection with cryptocurrencies and ICOs to the public prosecutor’s office.

Die Presse also said that FMA members expressed their dissatisfaction with the Australian Finance Minister, Hartwig Löger who intends to strip the agency of some of its authority. In the disputed between the auditing authority and the FMA, Löger calls for more “regulatory responsibility at the ministerial level”, which the FMA should then “reasonably execute.”

Money laundering issues have also been brought up, as it is the main concern and is superficially regulated by the law. However there have been “no serious problems” with regards to accounting and supervision. Ettl said it was crucial that the FMA retains and maintains “integrated and independent supervision.”

Both FMA and the Finance Minister approved in the tightening of regulations with regards to cryptocurrencies and ICOs, they both offered their participation in a “FinTech Regulatory Council” proposed by Löger.

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