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Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Scene Set for Major Shake-up

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Financial Services Agency to beef up cold wallet security requirements. Agency also wants exchanges to do more to prevent insider attacks. ‘Japanese Amazon’ Rakuten set to launch exchange. SBI Virtual Currencies delisting Bitcoin Cash

Source: iStock/btgbtg

A number of developments in the world of Japanese cryptocurrency will likely see the country’s buoyant exchange industry undergo a transformation.

The regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA) is set to make further changes to its policing of exchanges. Per Reuters Japan, the FSA wants to ensure that exchanges in the country maximize their use of cold wallets to limit the potential damage done by hackers. The agency also wants exchanges to beef up their cold wallet security networks – and will clamp down hard on offenders.

The FSA appears to be unconvinced that a number of licensed exchanges are doing enough to ensure funds are kept in secure, cold wallets – and is prepared to punish offenders with business improvement orders, suspension orders or license revocations.

The agency also wants exchanges to do more to prevent potential “insider attacks,” hacks carried out by existing or former employees. Finally, it also wants exchanges to increase their information disclosure procedures. The FSA feels that its call – made in February – for exchanges to reveal more information about the nature and size of transactions is going unheeded. Exchanges, per Reuters, are still reluctant to divulge what they consider to be sensitive financial information pertaining to customers.

However, crypto-enthusiasts in the country remain optimistic, particularly after Rakuten, the country’s most powerful e-commerce force, this week announced that it is now accepting pre-launch registrations for trading accounts on the company’s Rakuten Wallet app.

The company has obtained an operating license from the FSA, and says that existing Rakuten Bank customers will be able to access exchange accounts via existing apps.

Rakuten claims it will provide users with 24/7, AI-powered assistance and smartphone apps that will allow unlimited trading options.

The company is hoping to officially open Rakuten Wallet’s exchange services sometime this summer.

Rakuten has a market capitalization of USD 9.6 billion, per Forbes, and its entry into the exchange business will be particularly significant for Japan, where SBI Group – one of Asia’s largest financial services companies – also recently launched an FSA-licensed exchange of its own, SBI Virtual Currencies.

And SBI Virtual Currencies has also been making headlines, yesterday announcing that it would be delisting Bitcoin Cash at the time when other platforms delist Bitcoin SV. The platform says it intends to delist the token in June, citing price volatility, the possibility of a 51% attack and security issues as its reasons. The company was not available for immediate comment.

Elsewhere in the Japanese exchange world, accounting solutions provider Money Forward has shelved plans to open a cryptocurrency exchange, reports IT Media. The company had submitted documents to the FSA and hoped to open a trading platform sometime this year, but says the recent bear market has forced it to reconsider.

And Gaia, operator of the Moneco exchange platform has raised some USD 893,000 in funding as it looks to expand its operations in Japan. Per TechCrunch Japan, Gaia’s latest investors include Remixpoint – which also operates the BitPoint exchange platform.