News Regulation

Japan’s financial regulator grants cryptocurrency industry self-regulatory status

On October 23, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) gave the cryptocurrency industry self-regulatory status, permitting the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), a body comprised of all 16 licensed domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, to police and sanction exchanges for any violations.

The FSA approval gives the industry association rights to set rules to safeguard customer assets, prevent money laundering, and give operational guidelines. The association will also have to police compliance.

“It’s a very fast moving industry. It’s better for experts to make rules in a timely manner than bureaucrats do,” – a senior FSA official said in a briefing, declining to be named.

“We will make further efforts to build an industry that is trusted by customers,” – the cryptocurrency industry association said in a statement following the FSA approval.

Last year Japan became the first country to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges, as it encourages technological innovation while ensuring consumer protection. Exchanges have to register with FSA.

FSA on Wednesday also published a set of guidelines for those applying to run crypto exchange. The agency said there are about 160 entities expressed interest.

There are 16 approved crypto exchanges in the country. FSA has not granted any new approval since December last year.

“We are looking into more details than before. In that sense, the approval process has become more strict,” – the FSA official said.