Author: Paul How

Japan puts more pressure on crypto exchanges

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is making it tougher for cryptocurrency exchanges to register their businesses in the country, requiring disclosure of a lot more information than before, the Japan Times reported.

The regulator is requiring applicants to answer approximately 400 questions, from about 100 questions previously, during the screening process, as part of its efforts to keep customers’ money safe.

Among the added requirements for exchanges is to provide the FSA copies of minutes of board meetings, to ensure that sufficient discussions are held about a company’s financial management, and about database security. The FSA will also monitor a company’s list of shareholders, checking for, as the Japan Times phrased it, “links to antisocial groups.”

According to news.bitcoin.com, there are 160 companies looking to operate in Japan, but it remains to be seen how many will pursue their applications with the added requirements. At present, there are 16 exchanges licensed by the FSA. Another 16 are operating while their applications are pending review.

The stricter registration process comes after the January hacking of Coincheck, which lost a total of 523 million NEM tokens (XEM) worth $528 million at the time. This was larger than the 2014 Mt Gox hack where thieves took off with Bitcoins worth $480 million at the time. As early as March, Coincheck began the process of partially refunding those whose tokens were stolen.

Since the Coincheck hack, the FSA has conducted on-site inspections as a way to confirm information stated in applications. Such inspections revealed a lack of protection for users, in terms of manpower assigned to handle the large sums of money, and a skirting of anti-money laundering requirements. Some exchanges were suspended as a result. It was also found that records of minutes of the board were not kept properly.

The FSA has stated that it would allow the local cryptocurrency industry to grow, but “under appropriate regulation.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

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Philippines’ SEC eyes September release for crypto exchange draft rules

The Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will soon release draft rules for cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

According to news outlet BusinessWorld, Commissioner Ephyro Luis Amatong said after an en banc meeting that the draft guidelines are to be released “hopefully within the first half of September,” with the intention of receiving input for changes to be made. The SEC will then issue its finalized regulations by the end of the year.

The SEC will be basing the draft guidelines on regulations already being implemented in the U.S., Australia and Switzerland. “We want to create an environment where investors can feel more or less safe in investing in what are essentially securities that have a digital form… Instead of paper or securities that are housed within PDTC [Philippine Depository & Trust Corp.], the depository [will be] housed on a blockchain,” Amatong said.

The commissioner also noted that SEC has started discussions with the Philippine central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), about sharing oversight on cryptocurrency exchanges. Already, the BSP has its regulations on cryptocurrency exchanges, released back in February 2017. In its circular, each “virtual currency exchange” (VCE) must register with the BSP “to operate as a remittance and transfer company,” and file annual and quarterly reports. As of July, there are five exchanges registered with the BSP.

Amatong pointed out that the BSP’s role was limited to the aspect of money changing in cryptocurrency exchanges. “But… all of the VCEs are applying to allow them to act as trading platforms. When it comes to trading platforms, it is a concern of the SEC to be discussed with the BSP,” he said.

In August, the SEC released its draft guidelines on initial coin offerings (ICOs), in which it outlines requirements for proposing an ICO, including the submission of a whitepaper to be updated as necessary.

The Philippines is among the first countries to issue its regulations in cooperation with existing industry players. The BSP has merely cautioned of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies, but has not prescribed prohibitions on the matter.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.

The post Philippines’ SEC eyes September release for crypto exchange draft rules appeared first on Coingeek.