March 27, 2019, | AtoZ Markets – Japan’s FSA has recently granted two cryptocurrency exchange licenses. Rakuten Wallet and DeCurret are the latest parties with FSA Crypto exchange licenses. Now there are a total of 19 local Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges with FSA approval.
List of licensed Japanese Bitcoin exchanges
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 Japanese watchdogs announced the introduction of strict control over organizations wishing to start exchanges. These regulatory powers started to check exchanges. Before Coincheck received its operational approval as the first new exchange on January 11, 2019, they went through a specific set of requirements. 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
Cryptocurrency market in Asia
Kevin Newman is the former head of the Wirex partnership department. He is familiar with the licensing processes in Asia. In a statement about the situation on the market for cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan Newman commented the following:
“Japan’s FSA is supposedly awaiting consideration of 150–200 applications. However, it is considered that only 20 potential applicants (will get the approval). Basically, those who have the resources to finance another 18-24 month licensing process. This is if FSA 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 receive a license?”. It will be interesting to see. “
Other exchanges await FSA’s approval
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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