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  • L Misthos and M Bacina

Australian Digital Currency Exchanges take flight with overseas licensing!

Updated: May 3

Two of Australia's largest cryptocurrency exchanges have been granted regulatory licences overseas. Independent Reserve was approved by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for a major payment institution licence while CoinJar received registration from the United Kingdom's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Independent Reserve becomes the first and only Australian virtual asset service provider (VASP) with a Singapore licence following in-principle approval in August. Since being established in 2013, Independent Reserve has amassed over 200,000 customers and sought expansion to Singapore in early 2020. The Australian company was granted the approval over 170 other global exchanges.

CoinJar, also established in 2013, is Australia's longest running crypto exchange and relocated to the United Kingdom in 2014. The move proved worthwhile as the U.K. continues to progress regulation surrounding digital assets and awarded CoinJar an exchange registration with the FCA. This marks a successful few months for the exchange, having announced a partnership with Mastercard in August.

Currently in Australia, the only requirement to operate a crypto exchange is to be registered and enrolled as a digital currency exchange with AUSTRAC. The Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre is expected to shortly recommend the introduction of a licensing regime in Australia which will be aiming to be "at least as good as" Singapore's regime.

A careful balance will need to be struck between regulation and the imposition of oversite to protect consumers and the freedom necessary to promote innovation and competition, and attract businesses and talent to help Australia to continue to punch above our weight in blockchain.


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