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Reports: Japanese Regulator to Change Crypto Laws

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 1 min read

While much of the world finds itself in a funk over falling cryptocurrency prices, Japanese regulators and crypto-businesses are forging ahead with new developments.

Source: iStock/Beatrice Sirinuntananon

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) has revealed that it intends to regulate initial coin offerings (ICOs), and will place a limit on the amount individuals invest in ICOs. The FSA will reportedly seek to make changes to the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and the laws governing payment settlement services when parliament reconvenes in January next year.

Per Japanese media outlet Jiji, the FSA will also require all companies wishing to issue an ICO in Japan to register with the agency beforehand, and will ask that companies specify whether their tokens are “investment-type” coins, or if they will be used to make settlements, allowing customers to purchase items from the businesses issuing the tokens or their partners. The FSA is looking to ensure that only professional investors will be allowed to purchase “investment-type” coins.

Furthermore, the agency hopes to make changes to commerce laws, allowing it to crack down on artificial price manipulation via the spread of rumors or fake news. Per media outlet Business Journal, the FSA has also begun referring to digital tokens as “encrypted assets” in its official documents, rather than “virtual” (or “crypto”) currencies.

Elsewhere, China’s Huobi (a crypto exchange, currently based in Singapore) has made a return to Japan, only months after announcing that it would refrain from targeting Japanese customers to avoid stoking the ire of Japanese regulators. Huobi recently completed a majority share purchase in BitTrade, a platform that has already obtained an FSA operating license. The platform will now operate under the Huobi banner, but has announced that it will require all existing customers to re-register their accounts in order to continue trading.

As previously reported, a number of major Japanese companies are targeting M&A deals for licensed platforms, with the FSA seemingly taking its time with a backlog of applications for operating licenses – with further acquisitions “likely” in the near future.