Independent Reserve, the Australian digital currency exchange, today became the first Australian exchange of its kind to be regulated.
Independent Reserve is the first exchange to be regulated by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). Set up in 1989, AUSTRAC ensures Australian institutions conform to the required standards around Counter-Terrorism Financing and Know Your Customer rules.
CEO Adrian Przelozny said the regulation represented a huge leap forward for the local digital currency industry. “We have been lobbying for increased regulation since we opened for business in 2014,” he said. “We passionately believe that the digital currency economy will – and should – become just another part of the mainstream economy. In order for that to happen, digital currency needs to be regulated just like any other asset class. This is an excellent new step on that journey.”
Independent Reserve investor Steve James said AUSTRAC regulation would also help exchanges interact more easily with the banking sector. “Coming from a banking background it’s easy to see why banks have seen this sector as a potential AML/CTF risk,” he said. “While in the past we’ve seen the bigger banks showing reluctance to get involved, now we have higher standards for all operators and I am very confident this will result in much stronger partnerships between traditional and digital currency institutions.”
AUSTRAC is among one of the leading regulators globally to put firm rules in place for digital currency exchanges. This development will make the local market more attractive for both retail and institutional investors, said Mr Przelozny. “All investors should be able to feel safe when investing in a new market,” he said. “I’m so pleased that AUSTRAC has shown such leadership in this area, making Australia a more attractive marketplace for investors of all kinds.
“Independent Reserve is already used by many SMSFs and advisors across Australia,” he added. “This new regulation will enable us to work even more closely with these highly regulated market participants.”