110 Crypto Exchanges Purportedly Try to Get Licensed by Japanese Regulators

The crypto market winter in Japan appears to have thawed.

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), said that 110 exchanges are in “various stages of registration.”

Last year, the FSA did not award license for any cryptocurrency exchanges to start operating in the nation. In 2017, the watchdog had granted 16 new licenses to exchanges.

In addition, the FSA started issuing “improvement orders” in 2018 to avoid possible fraud cases or know-your-customer (KYC) noncompliance and began holding on-site inspections.

“BitFlyer, amongst other top exchanges in Japan, received the improvement order based on a changing regulatory climate in Japan,” a representative from bitFlyer said. The firm willingly ceased opening local customer accounts for those wanting to register in the platform, as it worked to comply with FSA’s stricter identification rules.

Now it seems the climate is having a shift again.

BitFlyer revealed on July 3 that it would start accepting new accounts again. In addition, in the first half of the year, the FSA has given license to 3 additional cryptocurrency exchanges, making the total number of operators to 19.

Although the details for the new applications for crypto exchanges are limited, the report said most are in the initial phase.

Once approved, these exchanges will have to follow rules under the Payments Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, set by the Japanese legislature on March 31 to take effect in April 2020.

The acts initiate costly licensing fees, along with a wide range of protocols for customer onboarding, data protection, and custodial safeguarding.