Japan Recognizes 11 Firms as Cryptocurrency Exchange Operators

TOKYO – Japan’s Financial Services Agency Friday approved 11 companies to operate as cryptocurrency exchanges, provided they comply with the legal requirements.

The FSA is also reviewing registration applications from 17 other exchange operators, who also asked to be recognized as initial coin offerings (ICO) operators, it said in a statement.

Japan has been one of the first countries to recognize cryptocurrency as legal tender, to avoid repeating the failure in 2014 of the Tokyo-based Mt Gox, the world’s largest bitcoin exchange at that time.

It passed a legislation in April to establish the ICO as a recognized mode of payment, but prohibited the purchase or sale of digital coins by exchange traders who are not registered with the FSA.

The law is aimed at protecting consumers and to monitor that the exchanges meet risk management requirements, including verifying the identities of customers to prevent money laundering and building stronger computer systems.

As opposed to other countries, Japanese companies and users have enthusiastically adopted the ICOs since their legal recognition in April and raised the global quotation of these digital currencies, which expects to be accepted in up to 300,000 stores in the country by the end of this year.

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