Japan: ‘24/7, Real-Time Yen Withdrawals’ and a New Stablecoin
Japanese cryptocurrency exchange BitBank has announced that its customers can now make real-time token-to-yen withdrawals to scores of leading banks in the country.
The exchange has joined the Japanese Banks’ Payment Clearing Network Zengin System, which yesterday launched a new phase of its operations – allowing customers of participant financial organizations to make real-time inter-bank/exchange transfers, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding maintenance periods). The system comprises some 140 direct participants, and is operated by the Tokyo Bankers’ Association.
BitBank stated, per Japanese media outlet CoinPost, “We are expanding the business use of cryptocurrencies. We are also looking to restore public trust in the industry by drastically reviewing our internal control and management systems.”
This summer, BitBank was hit with a business improvement order from the regulatory Financial Services Agency (FSA), which last year issued BitBank with an official operating license.
In a company statement, BitBank hinted it would do its utmost to satisfy the regulator that it is making the required changes. The FSA is thought to have heightened its scrutiny of exchanges in the wake of last month’s hack on Tech Bureau’s Zaif platform – the second major hack on a licensed exchange in nine months, following the calamitous Coincheck hack in January.
Meanwhile, BitBank rival GMO Internet (operator of the GMO Coin trading platform) has announced that it will launch a “stablecoin” pegged 1:1 with the Japanese yen. Per an official statement, GMO says the coin is slated for launch next year, and will be available “across Asia,” where it will function as a “borderless cryptocurrency.” The company has recently embarked on a major new marketing drive, and has spoken out about its mining operations at a secret location in Scandinavia.