Two cryptocurrency exchanges are set to open for business in Japan within the next couple of months, which could be a significant boon for the Japanese cryptocurrency industry.
According to an announcement on its website, the Japan-based crypto exchange Taotao – which is owned in part by Yahoo! Japan – will be open to applicants over the age of 20. Those who qualify can pre-register and start opening accounts from March 25 through April 17; the initial trading period on the Taotao exchange will begin in mid-May and go until July 1, 2019.
Taotao is not the only Japanese exchange opening for business in the near future. Per a March 25 press release, Japanese online retailer Rakuten will launch its own virtual currency exchange platform in April.
The online retailer first introduced an exchange platform in March 2017 under the name "Everybody's Bitcoin." However, after receiving an order from Japanese financial regulators in April 2018, the exchange was forced to shut down and revamp its management methods, bookkeeping procedures, and investor protection protocols. Rakuten says these concerns have been addressed ahead of the exchange's scheduled launch date. The order to revamp may be a reaction to the Coincheck hack that took place in January 2018.
In March of this year, the online retailer changed the name of its exchange platform to Rakuten Wallet Co. Ltd. The company believes that "Rakuten Wallet will contribute to the sound growth of the market as a virtual currency exchange company, and will further enhance security and provide enhanced services so that more customers can use it safely and with confidence."
Crypto exchange platforms in Japan have been compromised and scrutinized over the years. In April of last year, Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) ordered two different exchange platforms to cease operations for at least two months over concerns of investor protection. In June 2018, Japan's FSA ordered the FSHO exchange to halt operations after the platform failed to adhere to the regulator's standards. And in October 2018, hacked Japanese exchange Zaif was forced to allow Fisco Digital Asset Group to take over its operations.