The Australian-based cryptocurrency exchange, BTC Markets, has become the first of its kind to receive a financial services licence.
The Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) is a licence granted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to permit businesses to provide financial services. This is a mandatory practice in traditional finance, particularly where institutions provide financial advice, services, and custody to customers.
After waiting two years, BTC Markets’ sister company, BTCM Payments, was awarded an AFSL as it plans to provide non-cash payment products and general financial advice to Australian consumers. As the authorised representative of the AFSL to BTCM Payments, BTC Markets commented that this licence will help close the gap between cryptocurrency and traditional finance whilst benefiting Australian consumers. AFSLs are not currently required for crypto companies due to the current drafting of policy and legislation. However, BTC Markets noted that one reason for obtaining this licence was in preparation for upcoming regulatory changes and to solidify the integrity of BTC Markets. BTC Markets also has certification from the International Organization for Standardisation for information security management and is certified by Blockchain Australia.
Obtaining this licence has highlighted that cryptocurrency intends to sit alongside traditional finance and even work together to evolve Australia’s financial future.