Japan’s Financial Services Agency To Expand Cryptocurrency Team

News, Regulation | September 13, 2018 By:

Kiyotaka Sasaki, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) vice commissioner for policy coordination, said that the agency will be expanding its team focused on crypto-related activities next year.

During a study group meeting centered on cryptocurrency, Sasaki said that the FSA currently has a team of 30 people monitoring the local crypto indusrty. But due to the growing interest among mainstream companies in gaining a crypto exchange license, they are planning to increase the headcount by 12 more people for the fiscal year of 2019.

The regulator said that around 160 companies were interested in applying for a license to operate a crypto exchange, including Yahoo, Rakuten and Line. The country has already licensed 16 crypto exchanges and has been allowing 16 “quasi exchanges” to operate while their applications were under review.

The FSA has stepped up its oversight of crypto exchanges since the hack of Coincheck in January. It has issued many business improvement orders and temporary shut down some exchanges. The tougher stance towards the industry forced 13 crypto exchange companies to leave Japan, including Kraken.

Despite the exodus, recent data from the FSA showed that there’s still a huge interest in cryptocurrency, with 3.5 million crypto traders active in the country. The data also showed that the most traded cryptocurrencies in Japan are BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, and LTC.