Úno 28

Japan Police: 98.3% of Money Laundering Cases Don’t Involve Cryptocurrency

Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) say cases of suspected money laundering reportedly linked to cryptocurrency increased by 900 percent in 2018 when compared to the previous year. However, this still comprises only 1.7 percent of all money laundering investigations.


Cryptocurrency Money Laundering Up Tenfold in Japan

According to The Japan Times, the NPA reports that it recorded 7,096 cases of suspected cryptocurrency money laundering. This figure represents a tenfold increase from the 669 cases reported between April and December 2017.

Back in early December 2018, the NPA released a report stating that alleged cases of cryptocurrency money laundering for the year stood at almost 6,000. At the time, the period accounted for was between January 2018 and October 2018.

Since Q2 2017, regulators have required cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan to report instances of suspected illegal virtual currency transactions. This move was part of a whole host of reforms targeted at combating illicit activities carried out via digital currencies.

The NPA says many of the suspicious transactions involved multiple accounts with different bio-data information but using the same photo ID. Other cases involved accounts using foreign IPs even though details of the accounts show listing addresses based in Japan.

According to the NPA’s figures, the increase in crypto-related money laundering is indicative of a general rise in illegal financial transactions across the board in 2018. The NPA says it recorded more than 417,000 cases of alleged money laundering, an increase of over 17,000 from 2017.

Also, the percentage of crypto-related money laundering in the general reckoning has also increased. In 2018, 1.70 percent of money laundering was from cryptocurrency transactions compared to 0.16 percent in 2017.

Robust KYC/AML/CFT Rules to the Rescue

In August 2018, reports emerged that the NPA was set to commit more than $300,000 to develop a tracking software for cryptocurrency transaction. The NPA plans to implement this tool as a way of combating the rise of cryptocurrency theft and other illegal transactions.

FSA Japan

As reported by Bitcoinist in January 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) regulations on cryptocurrency will come into effect by Q3 2019. These regulations which center around KYC/AML protocols will apply to the G20, of which Japan is a member.

Experts believe such international standards will hinder the ability for criminals to launder money via cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) continues to implement stricter regulatory standards for cryptocurrency exchanges based in Japan.

Do you think the introduction and enforcement of KYC/AML regulations will curb money laundering? Let us know your thoughts below!


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Led 30

Japanese Yen Overtakes the US Dollar in Bitcoin Trading

The Japanese Yen (JPY) has surpassed the USD in terms of worldwide bitcoin trading in the past 24 hours. 


Japanese Yen Tops Dollar

According to data from Coinhills, the JPY has officially overtaken the USD in terms of bitcoin trading throughout the world. A total of 490,925.45 BTC were traded against the JPY over the last 24 hours.

Data shows that 49.10 percent of the entire Bitcoin 00 trading volume for the last 24 hours has been exchanged against the JPY, while the USD accounts for 45.80 percent.

Together, both currencies account for as much as 94.9 percent of all fiat currencies in BTC trading. The Korean Won, the Euro, and the British pound round off the top five Bitcoin fiat trading pairs in terms of volume. Though these are dwarfed by JPY and USD, comprising less than 2 percent of the total volume each.

JPY/BTC has grown in popularity substantially over the last two months of 2018. In November, it accounted for only 21 percent of the BTC trading, compared to a solid 50 percent for the USD. But whether it will remain in at the top remains to be seen as Bitcoin price struggles to hold above $3,000.

What Changed?

In December, Bitcoinist reported on a study which claimed that Asia has more impact on Bitcoin price than America and Europe. The study cited major developments from Asia concerning cryptocurrencies, which had impacted the market by an average of 18.61 percent.

Thing are indeed moving fast in the East. Just a couple of weeks ago, one of Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Coincheck, was registered with the Financial Services Agency.

Additionally, a new partnership was formed between Blockstream, Digital Garage, and Tokyo Tanshi, which will serve the Japanese Bitcoin market by launching a JPY-pegged stablecoin.

Furthermore, in October last year, the country gave formal approval for the cryptocurrency industry to regulate itself, substantially increasing the capabilities of the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), which is now authorized to punish operators which fail to conform to the stringent safety regulations put by the local authorities.

What do you think about the Japanese Yen overtaking the Dollar in Bitcoin trading? Share your thoughts below!


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Říj 30

Japan’s Financial Regulator Says Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies

The lack of uniformity in stablecoins has led Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) to conclude that stablecoins are not cryptocurrency.


Not All Digital Assets Are Created Equal

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) recently announced that it does not believe stablecoins should be classified in the same category as cryptocurrencies.

According to Japan’s Payment Services Act and the Fund Settlement Law, cryptocurrencies are considered a method of payment that users do not need to pay taxes for. Meanwhile, stablecoins do not meet these criteria as the majority of the current dollar pegged digital assets have varying characteristics, and the lack of a uniform set of characteristics makes it impossible to categorize them.

FSA Japan

JVCEA Cannot Regulate Stablecoins

Under the Payment Service Act, stablecoins fail to meet the current criteria for classifying as a “virtual currency” and an FSA spokesperson said, Due to [varying] characteristics [of stablecoins], it is not necessarily appropriate to suggest what those companies need to obtain or register before issuing stablecoins.”

Interestingly, while the FSA recently ceded authority to Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) by granting the collective the authority to self-regulate Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges, the JVCEA will not be able to regulate stablecoins as they have been determined to not be cryptocurrencies.

It appears that the task of regulating stablecoins to will fall to the FSA and regulators will need to analyze each stablecoin on an individual basis.

Do stablecoins function the same as non-fiat pegged digital assets? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Dub 13

Yahoo! Japan Enters the Crypto Field: Acquires Minority Stake in Tokyo Crypto Exchange

· April 13, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Yahoo! Japan Corp announced on Friday its intentions to purchase a minority stake in BitARG Exchange Tokyo. The deal builds on the increasing mainstream acceptance of cryptocurrencies in the country on behalf of business in the face of some of the most prominent Japanese companies.


Getting Involved in the Crypto Field

As reported by Reuters, Yahoo! Japan Corp is set to buy a minority stake in a Tokyo-based, FSA-approved crypto exchange. The hope of Japan’s number #2 most popular and visited website is to completely dismiss concerns associated with security as well as to get involved in the cryptocurrency field. It’s safe to say that the move has its merit, as the company has had its fair share of security breaches in recent years.

Yahoo! is set to buy out a 40% stake off BitARG Exchange through one of its subsidiaries. The official launch of the services is scheduled to start sometime this autumn.

Even though official financial terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, a person close to the matter said that the purchase amount is likely to be close to two or three billion yen, which is the rough equivalent of $18.6 to $27.9 million.

Serious Mainstream Business Adoption

Serious Mainstream Business Adoption

It seems that the Country of Eight Islands is becoming a hot spot for the crypto field – not only for individuals but also for businesses.

The Yahoo! deals follow recent moves of other major Japanese companies. Earlier last week, a leading local financial services firm confirmed the purchase of Coincheck – a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange which had suffered a hacker attack earlier in the year, setting it back with upwards of $430 million in compensation to its users.

Going further, back in January, the country’s largest messaging service, Line Corp, has also attested its interest in the field, applying for cryptocurrency exchange license.

Do you think Yahoo!’s deal will attribute to the development of the cryptocurrency field in the country? Will other big players follow? Please let us know in the comments below!


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Led 08

Japanese Crypto Girls Coining It In

· January 8, 2018 · 7:00 am

Many countries have shied away from cryptocurrencies and even clamped down on trading and using them. These tend to be the more authoritarian nations such as Russia, China, and Indonesia. Japan, conversely, is embracing the blockchain revolution with open arms and even has a group known as the Virtual Currency Girls who are attempting to bring more awareness to the masses.


Bitcoin is considered legal tender in Japan, the world’s third largest economy. According to JPBitcoin.com, almost a third of all BTC transactions during December were denominated in Yen. In complete contrast to China and South Korea that want more regulation Japan passed a law in April last year legalizing and legitimizing digital currencies and underscoring the need for transparency and financial stability.

Miss Bitcoin

According to India’s Economic Times, Japanese social media icon Mai Fujimoto, aka ‘Miss Bitcoin’, says she invests all of her savings in the digital currency. In a recent interview she told AFP:

I convert all my disposable income into cryptocurrency, I’ve been doing this for nearly a year now. I convert all my savings into cryptocurrency instead of putting them in a bank.

Miss Bitcoin has done very well out of her investments starting out in 2012 when she got her first BTC for 1,200 Yen (about $10);

At the time, I was working with children and creating an online donation platform. And for the first time, I learned how expensive it is to send money abroad. So, I was really impressed when I heard that I don’t have to go through banks if I use bitcoin payment.

Crypto Girl Power

Japanese culture can be quirky, to say the least. An all-girl idol group called the Virtual Currency Girls (Kaso Tsuka Shoju) have also made it big in crypto and strives to extoll its virtues across the country. The group, managed by Cinderella Academy Inc, intends to capitalize on the current wave of crypto mania by offering all tickets to their live performances and fan goods exclusively through digital currencies.

The eight-member team, ranging in age from 15 to 22, each has her own crypto coin persona and, in true Japanese fashion, uses cosplay to promote them. Characters such as Neo, Nem, Ethereum and even Cardano have their own merchandise and are wildly popular with Japanese youth.

Japan always finds its own idiosyncratic way of doing things and promoting crypto through girl groups seems to be the latest craze.

Are internet idols a good way to promote crypto? Add your thoughts below.


Images courtesy of Cinderella Academy Inc, Shutterstock

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