Economy

Japan's Finance Regulator Issues Licenses for 11 Bitcoin Exchanges

Japan's Finance Regulator Issues Licenses for 11 Bitcoin Exchanges”

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) in Japan has put their seal of approval on eleven different cryptocurrency exchanges that facilitate the transfer and exchange of Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies.

Passed in April, the new law established bitcoin as a legal payment method, and extrapolated security guidelines for cryptocurrency exchanges. Approx $480 mln went missing from the biggest bitcoin exchange in the world that was based in Tokyo while the founder Mark Karpeles chose to terminate services in 2014.

Te get the hands on a license, companies have to obviously fulfill a number of conditions an requirements, as segregation of costumer accounts and very good performing computer systems.

Industry officials say Japan is now one of the world's biggest bitcoin trading hubs as China - by far the largest user of bitcoins until early this year - clamps down on cryptocurrencies.

"With the new regulation, Tokyo aims to balance the need to protect investors with the need to support fintech innovations."

Tokyo's stance is in contrast with those of other regulators in Asia. Additionally, the report stated that Japan was not inclined to ban or halt Initial Coin Offerings, a market that has rocketed in recent months raising billions of dollars in tokenized offerings.

Beijing this month ordered some bitcoin exchanges to shut.

There are still 17 Japanese bitcoin exchanges waiting for the FSA to review their applications for licensure.

On the other hand, 12 firms that had been in the business before the new regulation chose to close down, the FSA said.



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