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Hitbtc suspends its services in Japan

A cryptocurrency exchange Hitbtc has announced a service suspension for Japanese residents.

On its website, the Hong Kong-based exchange added a new section called Service Restriction to the Legal Information page of its Terms of Service.

«You shall not use our services and immediately cease using those if you are a resident or become a resident at any time of the state or region where Hitbtc is not authorized to act», – the exchange wrote.

Hitbtc adds that it has temporarily suspended providing virtual (crypto) currency exchange services to residents of Japan for the avoidance of any doubt and in accordance with the Japan Payment Services Act.

«In case our technology detects that you use our services from an IP address registered in Japan, or any other services registered in Japan, you would be asked to confirm that you are not a resident of Japan by providing information on your residency within KYC procedure», – wrote the exchange.

The Japanese Payment Services Act that Hitbtc refers to went into effect in April last year, legalizing cryptocurrency as a means of payments.

It also mandates any cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country to register with the country’s financial authority, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). So far, 16 crypto exchanges have been granted a license to operate and the same number were allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed. Out of the latter 16, the FSA recently revealed that 8 have indicated that they are withdrawing their applications.

In Sunday’s announcement, Hitbtc wrote that it has been working with a Japanese law firm with the aim «to get Hitbtc through the local subsidiary setup and licensing procedure to resume its services» for Japanese residents.