Japanese bitcoin exchanges have begun receiving their formal operating licenses from the local Financial Services Agency (FSA). QUOINE and bitFlyer were some of the first exchanges to receive their formal certificate of approval from the government’s department.
QUOINE received the certificate numbered #00002 and its CEO, Mike Kayamori, said that the certificate was a big deal for his company as other institutions would have to start taking them a lot more seriously like other financial institutions. The formal certification also means more work, Mike explained. He stated:
“There’s all kinds of fiduciary responsibilities — monthly reports, quarterly reports, transaction reports, suspicious activity statements, etc.”
He further explained that his company has been following the compliance requirements since April 1st; when the law first took effect. He said that the compliance department of the FSA has been looking into the operations of his company since that day and that the certificate was a big achievement for his company.
A competitor of QUOINE, bitFlyer, received the certificate #00003 on 29th September. Eventually, more than 10 Japanese bitcoin exchange companies have been granted formal certificates, including BitBank, GMO Coin, BTCBox, BitTrade, and BitPoint. The exchanges were invited to get their certification in the earlier 2017, when the Japanese government introduced new digital-currency friendly laws. The certifications are not a rubber stamp and there is no guarantee that the exchanges operating today will obtain or keep their certificates.
Most of the cryptocurrency market scoffs at the idea of getting permission from the government but currently,. It is a bitter reality that everyone has to deal with and this development is a beginning of a new era for the digital economy of Japan and for the exchanges operating there.
Japan’s decision to regulate cryptocurrency instead of banning it is starkly different from its neighbor, China, who has recently banned all the ICOs and ordered all exchanges to stop operating within China. In response to this decision, the cryptocurrency market has shifted to Japan and other Asian countries where mining is profitable.
The next step for Japanese exchanges like QUOINE and bitFlyer could be the ICO market. However, this is a very different issue. The Japanese authorities have suggested that they are only comfortable with the assets they have studied which include Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash.