March 27, 2019, | AtoZ Markets - Japan’s FSA has recently licensed two cryptocurrency exchanges; Rakuten Wallet and DeCurret, bringing the number of local cryptocurrency exchanges approved in the land of the rising sun to 19.
List of licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan expands
The FSA initiatives began in late September 2017 with the licensing of the first 11 virtual currency exchanges. By the end of 2017, five more exchanges were added (four on December 1, one on December 26). After the hacking incident with Coincheck in 2018, the Japanese financial authorities became more demanding of cryptocurrency exchanges in cybersecurity issues. After a $ 533 million Japanese crypto stock exchange was hacked, the FSA suspended two business exchanges and fined others, including Coincheck. Then Japan announced the introduction of strict control over organizations wishing to start exchanges, exchanges were checked, business improvement orders and a lot of restoration work were completed before Coincheck was approved as the first new exchange on January 11, 2019. Here is the complete list of crypto-exchanges that have been approved in Japan by this moment.
- bitbank approved on September 29, 2017. The bitbank, Inc. runs one of the first and largest cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan.
- bitflyer approved on September 29, 2017
- Bitgate approved on December 1, 2017
- The crypto exchange is unreachable
- BitOcean approved on December 26, 2017, acquired by HKEX-listed Madison Group on December 28, 2018
- Bit Point Japan approved on September 29, 2017
- BTC Box approved on September 29, 2017
- Coincheck approved on January 11, 2019, after exchange hack in January 2018 and subsequent acquisition by Monex Group on April 5, 2018
- DeCurret approved on March 25, 2019
- DMM Bitcoin approved on September 29, 2017
- Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange approved on September 29, 2017
- GMO Coin approved on September 29, 2017
- Huobi Japan approved on September 29, 2017, as BitTrade, acquired by Huobi on September 12, 2018
- Money Partners approved on September 29, 2017
- Quoine approved on September 29, 2017
- Rakuten Wallet approved on March 25, 2019, after the acquisition of “Minna no Bitcoin” (Everybody’s Bitcoin) by Rakuten on August 31, 2018
- SBI Virtual Currencies approved on September 29, 2017
- Tao Tao approved on December 1, 2017, as bitArg, Yahoo! Japan acquired a 40% stake through Z Corporation on April 13, 2018
- Tech Bureau approved on September 29, 2017
- Xtheta approved on December 1, 2017
Experts opinion on the Asian cryptocurrency market
Kevin Newman, previously head of the Wirex partnership department and familiar with the licensing processes in Asia, commented on the situation on the market for cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan by saying the following:
“Despite the fact that the FSA is supposedly awaiting consideration of 150–200 applications, it is considered that only 20 potential applicants are viable in the sight regulator. Basically, those who have the resources to finance another 18-24 month licensing process, if AFS decides to get permission for drip feeding. Coinbase can be a good example of such a sufficiently authoritative legal entity at the global level. The key question is how many non-Japanese exchanges will be licensed. It will be interesting to see. "
Certain Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges still waiting for the FSA confirmation
In addition to the fully licensed exchanges (Type I members), the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) also admits so-called Type II members, consisting of those operators that have applied for licensing with the FSA but have not been granted approval yet. Currently, there are eight such Type II members:
- LVC Corporation (LINE)
- Money Forward Financial
- OK Coin Japan
- Payward Asia
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