Crypto Exchange HitBTC Suspends Service For Japanese Residents

Announcements, News | June 4, 2018 By:

HitBTC, the eighth-largest crypto exchange according to Coinmarketcap, has suspended its services for Japanese traders to avoid troubles with the country’s financial regulator.

On its website, Hitbtc advised its users to immediately cease using its services if they are a resident or become a resident of the state or region where the company is not authorized.

“For the avoidance of any doubt and in accordance with the Japan Payment Services Act, HitBTC has temporarily suspended providing virtual cryptocurrency exchange services to residents of Japan,” the company said. “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 you residency within KYC procedure.”

In June 2016, Japan’s Bank Act and the Payment Services Act were amended to cover cryptocurrencies. In the new version, cryptocurrencies were redefined to allow them to be used for payment of goods and services. The law went into effect in April 2017, which effectively made cryptocurrency legal tender within the country.

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) was then put in charge of ensuring crypto regulations were followed. Crypto exchanges were required to register with the FSA for regular inspection and to receive orders regarding service provisions. Currently, 16 crypto exchanges have been granted a license to operate, and the same number were allowed to operate while their applications are pending. The regulator recently said that, so far, eight companies have expressed the intention to withdraw their applications.

In its announcement on Sunday, HitBTC said that they are currently working with a Japanese law firm to get the exchange through the local subsidiary setup and licensing procedure to resume its services for Japanese residents. The company is also actively hiring for the local office and exploring mergers and acquisitions (M&A) opportunities to expedite the launch of the Japanese operations in Q3 2018.