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Japan Exchange Exodus: KuCoin and Huobi Pull Out

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin has become the latest company to announce it will no longer accept business from Japanese customers.

Source: iStock/Laser1987

The move comes days after a similar announcement from China’s Huobi (now headquartered in Singapore).

KuCoin posted an announcement on its site stating, “Out of respect to Japanese legislation requirements, KuCoin will close cryptocurrency trading services for all traders located in Japan. All KYC [know your customer] verification requests sent from Japan will be rejected, and we will not support the Japanese language.”

The move is almost certainly a response to repeated threats of legal action against international exchanges operating in Japan by the country’s regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA). The FSA has stepped up its policing of Japan’s own exchanges in recent weeks, even hitting industry leader bitFlyer with a business improvement order[/URL].

The FSA wants exchanges to do more to prevent money laundering, stamp out the use of so-called “anonymous” cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, improve asset management, and boost customer protection in an attempt to avoid another large, Coincheck-scale hack.

However, the FSA has warned overseas exchanges that provide services to Japanese customers that they will face punishment if they fail to meet the same standards that it applies to domestic exchanges, or violate Japanese financial laws.

Meanwhile, American cryptocurrency exchange giant and wallet provider Coinbase announced that they are launching an office in Japan.