Bitcoin was able to reach almost $20,000 in mid-December. But as 2018 entered, the first six months battered the crypto market plunging the price of Bitcoin just around $6,500. One of the reasons for this is the regulatory problems. There are countries that even chose to put a halt on crypto-related activities such as China in the latter part of 2017. Also, crypto-related business such as mining has also suffered mainly because of the possible environmental impact that it can produce.
Japan is one of the countries that has opened its doors to cryptocurrencies. In fact, Bitcoin trading volume in the country increased by 340% in just a three year period. In 2014, Japan had a trading volume of $22 million. But in March 2017, it has reached $97 billion according to the numbers provided by the Financial Service Agency. However, after the hacking incident that happened to Coincheck, Japan decided to create stricter regulations that will protect investors.
Japan’s Unified Crypto Regulations?
International financial authority Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is about to collaborate with Japanese regulators. With the help of Japanese regulators, FATF is hoping to create unified cryptocurrency regulations that can be applied in the coming months.
Last month, Japanese Financial Service Agency (FSA) suggested to the members of G20 to create a unified policy that will tackle cryptocurrency exchange and investors. One of the concerns that they have pointed out is the use of cryptocurrencies that put an extra layer of anonymity to its users such as Zcash, Dash, and Monero. These are cryptocurrencies that are used by criminals for different illegal activities.
It has been reported that the Yakuza are using these three cryptocurrencies in their activities as reported in the newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. It has also been reported that a crime syndicate within the Yakuza was able to launder around 29.85 billion yen since 2016 using the cryptocurrency exchanges.
FSA replied to this report by saying that “It should be seriously discussed as to whether any registered cryptocurrency exchange should be allowed to use such currencies. It’s a typical money laundering scheme. In a way, I’m not surprised. If you are going to do something illegal, then everyone knows to use the three anonymous siblings”.
Japan Can’t Curb Anonymous Cryptos on Its Own
The official mentioned that the Japanese government can’t do things on its own. And for this reason, they wanted to collaborate with the G20 countries in order to come up with a unified cryptocurrency regulation.
Financial Action Task Force plans to begin to have a unified crypto regulation that will pertain to crypto exchanges. This will ensure that leading markets such as that of US, Japan, and South Korea have the standards that can protect investors and prevent the criminals and syndicates from using cryptos in their illicit activities.
FATF oversees 37 countries. It is likely that the 37 countries are going to impose identical regulations in case the body came up with a unified crypto regulation. It is no secret that Japan is among the most serious countries when it comes to the crypto industry. In fact, they have come up with new regulations that even made it difficult for some crypto exchanges to operate such as Kraken. The first casualty was also recently reported because of these regulatory changes.