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Brief: Japan approves 11 cryptocurrency exchange operators, no plans for ICO ban

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Downtown Tokyo. Photo credit: sarawinter / 123RF 写真素材.

The news (extracted from Reuters):

  • Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) today approved 11 companies [PDF link, Japanese] as operators of cryptocurrency exchanges.
  • The FSA has laid out various requirements for exchange operators, such as building secure systems, segregation of customer accounts, and checking customer identities.
  • Earlier this month, Japanese officials said they had no plans to ban digital token sales or initial coin offerings (ICOs).

Why it matters:

  • Japan’s stance on cryptocurrencies and ICOs contrasts with those of its neighbors. Authorities in China effectively banned ICOs earlier this month, following up with a crackdown on cryptocurrency exchanges just a few days later.
  • Earlier today, South Korea’s financial services regulator announced its own ban on ICOs.
  • Speaking on stage at Tech in Asia Tokyo 2017 earlier this week, technologist and startup consultant Daniel Saito remarked that the FSA is in the process of drafting regulations for cryptocurrency trading and ICOs, and is working on approvals for companies operating in these areas. “They are literally going through the huge list of ICOs out there, analyzing whitepapers, doing the math,” he said.


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