Japan: Government Regulator, Companies Ramping Up Crypto Operations
Some of Japan’s biggest government and industry players are making major moves in the world of cryptocurrencies.
The regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) has announced it will create a special unit to deal specifically with cryptocurrencies and money laundering-related issues. The FSA’s new Strategy Development and Management Bureau will look to address fintech industry-related issues – and will likely free up other FSA departments to police security-related issues and exchanges’ customer protection networks.
The FSA’s cryptocurrency-related workload has increased exponentially in the wake of the Coincheck hack earlier this year – with 6 of the 11 exchanges it issued operating licenses back in September 2017 recently hit with business improvement orders.
Asahi also reports that the FSA is investigating an unnamed but seemingly high-profile Tokyo-based company that is suspected of trading cryptocurrencies without a permit.
But it is not just the regulator that has been active: Per Minkabu, Tokyo-based software developer Acrodea has announced that it will begin operating a cryptocurrency mining farm in Saku, a small town in the Nagano Prefecture.
Meanwhile Line, the operator of one of Japan’s most popular chat apps, yesterday launched its Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, BitBox. The platform is now trading 30 tokens. Line was founded by South Korea internet giant Naver, but is now based in Japan.
And another South Korean chat app venture, Kakao, has moved to address a threat from a fake web page posing as a legitimate Kakao cryptocurrency-related site, offering discounts on cryptocurrency purchases. Hankook Ilbo reports that the site, calling itself Kakao Network has found its way to the top of search engine results and has issued a range of banner ads. Kakao has moved to distance itself from the site – although it is known to be working on a range of blockchain technology products and services.