Crypto Exchange Huobi Pro To Suspend Trading For Users In Japan

Announcements, News, Regulation | June 27, 2018 By:

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Pro has announced that it is suspending trading services to users in Japan next month, citing its lack of registration with the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Huobi Pro is the world’s third largest cryptocurrency exchange by daily trading volume. In Octber 2017, Huobi moved its headquarters from Beijing to Singapore due to a months-long crackdown by Chinese authorities. The exchange has offices in Hong Kong, Korea, Japan and the United States.

In an email sent to users, Huobi said that it will remove the Japanese option from its homepage and will suspend trading services on July 2. Huobi added that the exchange decided to pull out of Japan since it isn’t registered with the FSA. The exchange, however, has yet to provide further details such as the plan for users’ asset withdrawals.

Cryptocurrency exchanges with operations in Japan are required to register with the FSA under a money transaction law introduced in 2016. Currently, the country has 16 regulated crypto exchanges. On June 22, the FSA issued business improvement orders to six regulated crypto exchanges. It is not currently clear if Huobi Pro has been contacted by the regulator regarding the issue.

Meanwhile, two vice chairmen of Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), a self-regulatory body that was formed earlier this month, have resigned after their exchanges received business improvement orders from the FSA.

“In response to the fact that vice chairmen of the association, Yuzo Kano and Hiroyuki Noriyuki, representative directors of Bitflyer Co. Ltd. and Bitbank Corporation, received business improvement orders concerning their virtual currency exchange businesses, we inform you that we have received resignation requests from both of the vice presidents on this date and have accepted them,” the JVCEA said.

The self-regulatory body said that they will continue to do their best to protect the interests of users and to promote the sound development of the crypto exchange industry, including the early establishment of voluntary regulation rules.

Prior to the resignations, the JVCEA announced that it has drafted new self-regulatory rules in an effort to step up consumer protections and improve transparency. The rules include a ban on insider trading and trading of privacy-centric cryptocurrencies, such as Monero and Zcash, in order to conform to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.