Crypto Exchanges Are Trying to Get Licensed in Japan
The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s financial watchdog, has said that 110 exchanges are in “various stages of registration.”
In 2018, the FSA, did not grant approval for any crypto exchanges to begin operating in the country. The year prior, the agency had approved 16 new exchanges.
Further on, in 2018 the FSA began issuing “improvement orders” to preempt potential cases of fraud or KYC noncompliance and started conducting on-site inspections.
“BitFlyer, amongst other top exchanges in Japan, received the improvement order based on a changing regulatory climate in Japan,” a bitFlyer representative said. The company voluntarily stopped opening domestic customer accounts for those looking to join the platform, as it worked to meet the FSA’s stricter identification requirements.
With this FSA statement, now it appears the climate is changing again. If approved, these exchanges will need to comply with newly introduced obligations in the Payments Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, enacted by the Japanese legislature on March 31 to take effect in April, 2020. The acts introduce expensive licensing fees as well as extensive protocols for data protection, customer on-boarding, and custodial safeguarding. (Positive)
Japanese Crypto Exchange Bitpoint Hacked for $32 Million Worth of Cryptocurrencies
On July 12, Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint has suspended all services after losing $32 million in a hack involving XRP, Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.
Bitpoint revealed that it had lost around 3.5 billion yen (~$32 million) — 2.5 billion yen (~$23 million) of which belonged to customers and 1 billion (~$9.2 million) to the exchange.
Bloomberg reports that shares of Bitpoint’s parent firm Remixpoint Inc. shed 19% following news of the incident, and were untraded in Tokyo as of 1:44 p.m. “on a glut of sell orders.”
Alongside XRP and Bitcoin, a total five different cryptocurrencies had been stored in the affected hot wallets, including Litecoin (LTC) and Ether (ETH).
The exchange’s cold wallets are not reportedly thought to have been compromised, Bitpoint’s announcement indicates.
Bitpoint was one of multiple domestic crypto exchanges to have been served a business improvement order from Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Service Agency (FSA), during its wide-ranging inspections of industry businesses. (Negative)
US President Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Not a Fan’ of Bitcoin
Donald J. Trump tweeted Thursday that he is “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies, saying they were “not money” and referencing their price volatility relative to the dollar in his first public comments on crypto since becoming president of the United States.
In his tweets Thursday, Trump took aim at the potential for using cryptocurrencies in illegal activities, citing drug trafficking in particular.
“Unregulated Crypto Assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity,” he said.
In a final tweet, he added:
“We have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
Trump also criticized Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project in subsequent tweets, saying it “will have little standing or dependability” and suggesting U.S. regulators would subject the social media giant to regulation:
“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National […] and International.”
Trump has criticized Facebook in the past for its actions in banning right-wing figureheads, alongside other social media outlets. To date, however, he has not discussed Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. The company first publicly released its white paper and supporting documentation for Libra last month. (Negative)