16 cryptocurrency exchanges that have been approved by the Japanese government are teaming up to form a self-regulatory group, following the hack of one of the country’s most popular exchanges. Besides these exchanges, there are 16 “quasi-operators” for cryptocurrencies as well as about 100 firms seeking to enter the market in Japan.
Exchanges Forming Self-Regulatory Body
Japan currently has no self-regulatory body. However, following the major hack of one of the country’s most popular crypto exchanges, the need for self-regulation in the country has elevated. Coincheck was hacked for 58 billion yen (~USD$530 million) worth of the cryptocurrency NEM in January. Following the hack, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) started scrutinizing all exchanges operating in the country. The agency also urges industry players to adopt self-regulation standards.
16 crypto exchange operators are currently fully approved by the FSA. All crypto exchanges are required by the revised payment services act, which went into effect in April of last year, to register with the agency.
The exchanges announced on Thursday, as reported by Reuters:
Japan’s 16 government-registered cryptocurrency exchanges will set up a self-regulatory body to bolster trust in an industry rocked by a $530 million digital money heist in January.
While neither the name of the new organization nor the date of registration with the FSA has been announced, sources told the news outlet that “the body would be set up this spring.”
Japanese Exchanges Participating
The FSA started issuing licenses to crypto exchange operators in the second half of last year. Eleven were approved in September: Money Partners, Quoine, Bitflyer, Bit Bank, SBI Virtual Currencies, GMO Coin, Bittrade, Btcbox, Bitpoint, Fisco Virtual Currency, and Zaif. In early December, Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange, Bit Arg Exchange Tokyo, FTT Corporation, and Xtheta Corporation were additionally approved. Then within the same month, Bitocean became the 16th and the last operator to obtain a license from the FSA so far.
In addition to the 16 approved exchanges, the FSA has allowed “quasi” cryptocurrency operators to conduct business while their applications are pending. These operators have been in crypto exchange businesses prior to the introduction of the registration system.
The 16 quasi-operators are Minnano Bitcoin, Payward Japan, Lemuria Bitcoin Exchange (Bitcrements), Campfire Corporation, Tokyo Gateway, Lastroots Corporation, Debit, Eternal Link, FSHO Corporation, Kirin Corporation, Bit Station, Blue Dream Japan, Mr. Exchange, Bmex Corporation, Bitexpress Corporation and Coincheck.
In addition, there are over 100 companies reportedly seeking to obtain a license to operate crypto exchanges in the country.
According to Thursday’s announcement by the exchanges:
The body will later invite other cryptocurrency exchanges whose applications for registration with the government are pending, as well as those that plan to register in the future.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Nikkei.
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