Japan’s crypto industry given self-regulatory status

Japan has given its cryptocurrency industry the ability to self-regulate, after the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) granted the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association the right to police its own space.

This policing will include the responsibility to safeguard customer assets, prevent money laundering, and give operational guidelines, according to Reuters.

A senior FSA official said: “It’s a very fast moving industry. It’s better for experts to make rules in a timely manner than bureaucrats do.”

The Association also said in a statement: “We will make further efforts to build an industry that is trusted by customers.”

The new landscape is far from a free-for-all, with only 16 crypto exchanges currently approved by the FSA, and the agency saying the the process will now be more strict than ever. It has reported that around 160 entities have expressed interest in becoming exchanges.

Yuri Suzuki, senior partner at Atsumi & Sakai, told Reuters: “The self-regulatory body’s workload is likely to be heavy and there is an issue of whether it can secure enough staff with expertise in crypto exchange business.”

In the summer, the head of the FSA Toshihide Endo said it had “no intention” of curbing the industry “excessively”, and wanted to see it grow under an appropriate level of regulation. Whether the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association can provide this remains to be seen, but the move looks to be a significant one for the country’s crypto industry.

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