Virtual currencies: regulators make their move

Author: | Published: 8 Jul 2019

Izuru Goto, Yasuyuki Kuribayashi and Takashi Saito of City-Yuwa Partners introduce Japan’s new regulatory regime for virtual currencies, which is due to be in place by about April 2020

The current regulatory framework for virtual currencies in Japan was implemented by amendments to the Payment Services Act (PSA) and the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds (APTCP) in June 2016. These came into force on April 1 2017. The regulations were enacted because Japan needed to implement anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulations relating to virtual currencies, as pointed out in reports published by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF); and to boost the level of customer protection as a result of weaknesses highlighted by the insolvency of MT Gox in February 2014 (one of the world's largest bitcoin exchanges at the time).

Current regulations on virtual currencies include...