Asian regulators differ on framework for bitcoin operators

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 31 May 2017

Japan’s new virtual currency legislation has been in effect for almost two months but small- and medium-sized bitcoin business operators are facing some hurdles in getting themselves registered with the Financial Services Agency (JFSA).

"The new legislation restricts virtual currency exchanges and it is possible that small companies may fail to meet the JFSA standards as only companies with sufficient staff and capital can be registered," said Yuri Suzuki, partner at Atsumi & Sakai in Tokyo.

But she added that the lifting of an eight percent consumption tax, set to be effective on July 1, could boost the volume of bitcoin trading in Japan.

With the $650 million cyber heist on Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt Gox in 2014 on the JFSA’s mind, the regulator has made registration an absolute requirement for virtual currency exchange business. This has been seen as an effort by authorities to address digital currency fraud,...