bitcoin-australia_1.jpgMain normative act that regulates licensing of the activity of investment funds for managing cryptocurrencies in Australia is the Corporations Act 2001 (hereinafter - the "Law" or also the "Act").

The regulator is the ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).

Nowadays, cryptocurrency is regarded by the regulator as a digital currency. In its official statement of December 13, 2014, the ASIC indicates that cryptocurrency is not a financial product or commodity within the meaning of the Act. Accordingly, it is not necessary to obtain additional licenses for conducting a number of transactions (for example, there was no need to obtain licenses for crypto-exchanges in Australia earlier). But the regulator also pays attention to the fact that if the activity is related to the real sector of economy, when, for example, exchange of cryptocurrency funds for fiat money is carried out, it may be necessary to obtain licenses. 

If an organization plans to manage cryptocurrencies for investment purposes, then according to the provisions of section 5C of the Act, the activity of investment funds in the country may be both subject to licensing and not subject to licensing. Accordingly, if more than 20 participants are involved in the activities of certain fund, it is necessary to complete the registration procedure with the ASIC:

  • register a company in the organizational and legal form of Public Company. General information on the requirements for registration of such a company can be found on our official website (please note that depending on the peculiarities of the activities of a fund, it is possible to carry out registration in other organizational and legal forms);
  • obtain an AFS (Australian financial license), the availability of which allows an organization to carry out such activities;
  • prepare a package of documents according to the forms and requirements that are published on the official website of the regulator (the foregoing can be submitted online).

The regulator notes that a company can obtain above license both before submitting an application for authorization in the ASIC, and carrying out these procedures in parallel.

The package of documents for obtaining such a license and its types differs depending on the characteristics of a company (fund).

The following types of funds can be involved:

  • managed fund;
  • exchanged traded fund;
  • listed investment company.

In conclusion, it is worth paying attention to the fact that cryptocurrency funds in Australia successfully function to date.