BitFlyer Closes Door to New Clients After Regulator Slaps 6 Exchanges
BitFlyer, one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, announced today that they will stop accepting new customers in the foreseeable future to address issues recently identified by regulators. Regulators have issued improvement orders for bitFlyer and five other Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges because of what they deemed lax anti money laundering measures.
Following on-site inspections conducted over the past few months, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) slapped bitFlyer, QUOINE, BTC Box, Bit Bank, Tech Bureau and Bit Point with business improvement orders, and the companies must submit their plans by July 23rd. This resulted in bitFlyer announcing that they will not only stop accepting new customers, but also that they need to reexamine the IDs of certain customers, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In a statement on their website, bitFlyer said, “Our management and all employees are united in our understanding of how serious these issues are.” The exchange has also provided a substantial list of coming improvements to various systems. This includes better user and data protection, risk management, new token listings etc., all following the order.
Trading volume on bitFlyer:
In April, bitFlyer had to tighten its anti-money laundering rules after the Nikkei news outlet reported that users could perform some limited functions without fully completing customer verification.
Japan has been a crypto-friendly jurisdiction up until the infamous Coincheck hack in January. It caused a country-wide regulatory crackdown on all cryptocurrency exchanges, including refusals of applications to run exchanges, as well as ordering others to either improve or cease business over weaknesses in customer protection. The regulators stress, once again, that customer safety is their number one concern.