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[UPDATED] Japan’s FSA-Approved Cryptocurrency Exchanges To Form Self-Regulatory Body




Sixteen regulator-approved cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan will form a self-regulatory organization, and others are expected to join later.

UPDATED | April 24, 2018:

On April 23, 2018, the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (Nihon Kasotsuka Kokangyo Kyokai) held its first general assembly, according to Business Insider Japan. Taizen Okuyama, president and representative director of Money Partners Group Co., was selected as chairman of the association, which consists of 16 cryptocurrency exchanges registered with Japan's Financial Services Agency, as reported by Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun. Meanwhile, Yuzo Kano, president of bitFlyer Inc., and Noriyuki Hiroyuki, CEO of bitbank Inc., were chosen as vice chairmen. Monday's meeting marked the next step in the association's efforts to become a government-sanctioned self-regulatory organization for the cryptocurrency industry in Japan.

ORIGINAL | March 2, 2018: 

On March 2, the 16 Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges that have received approval from the country's financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), revealed plans to form a self-regulatory group, reportedly sometime this spring.

Following the theft of over $500 million worth of NEM tokens from Coincheck, an exchange which had not received formal FSA approval (but which was allowed to operate because it had applied to the agency), questions have swirled regarding how Japan's exchanges will ensure that their security measures adequately protect their customers' digital assets.

The soon-to-be inaugurated organization has not disclosed its name, nor the date on which it will register with the government, nor the exact scope of its mandate. However, the member exchanges did say that other exchanges, both those which have submitted applications to the FSA but have not yet been approved and those intending to apply in the future, will be invited to join the body at some point.

Earlier in the week, 132 Coincheck customers sued the exchange in connection with the heist. The lawsuit is at least the second brought by customers against Coincheck.

On March 1, the research firm Blockchain Intelligence Group Inc. announced that some of the stolen tokens had made their way onto a Vancouver, Canada-based exchange (it did not say which one) where the funds were "being laundered out." The company's CEO, Shone Anstey, suggested that the laundered cryptocurrency might have been sent to Japan.

According to a report in a publication run by the Japanese Communist Party, other stolen XEM (as NEM tokens are called) recently ended up on the Japanese virtual currency exchange Zaif.  

Adam Reese

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam holds value in Ether, Bitcoin, and Monero.

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