In an exclusive interview with news.Bitcoin.com, Japan’s top financial regulator has confirmed the number of companies currently wanting to enter the Japanese cryptocurrency market. Meanwhile, several existing crypto exchanges in the country are undergoing changes.
Over 190 Companies Want In
Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com on Wednesday the number of companies to date that have expressed interest to register as cryptocurrency operators. The FSA said:
Including preliminary consultation/inquiries regarding registration, more than 190 operators are expressing their intention of market entry.
This number is 30 more companies than the previous count the agency revealed in August. At that time, the FSA said that 160 operators had expressed intention to enter the Japanese cryptocurrency market.
While the FSA did not discuss specific applications, some companies have made announcements themselves regarding their plans to start crypto-related businesses. Among them are Line Corp., Yahoo! Japan, Money Forward Inc., Drecom Co. Ltd., Yamane Medical Corp., Adways Inc., Avex Inc., Daiwa Securities Group, Samurai & J Partners, Appbank Inc., I-Freek Mobile Inc., Forside Co. Ltd., and Fasteps Co. Ltd.
Japan’s Changing Crypto Landscape
There are currently 16 registered crypto exchanges in Japan. Under the revised Payment Services Act, crypto operators must register with the FSA. Japan also has three deemed dealers, which are companies that have been allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the regulator. They are Coincheck, Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin.
In September, regulated crypto exchange Zaif was hacked and was subsequently taken over by another regulated exchange, Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange Inc. Bittrade was recently acquired by Huobi and is in the process of relaunching as Huobi Japan. Madison Group has announced a plan to acquire a stake in Bitocean, another registered exchange. In addition, Ceres Inc. announced on Thursday a capital tie-up with crypto exchange Xtheta to start a joint service next spring.
Among deemed dealers, Coincheck was acquired by Monex Group after it was hacked in January. Everybody’s Bitcoin was acquired by mega e-commerce and internet giant Rakuten Inc. Despite acquisitions, the FSA confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com on Wednesday that Japan still currently has 16 registered crypto exchanges.
DMM and GMO
DMM.com, the parent company of DMM Bitcoin, a regulated crypto exchange, announced on Tuesday that it will no longer launch its Cointap app. The company began accepting registration for this service in January and initially planned to release the app in the spring but was subsequently delayed. The e-commerce giant emphasized that the group will continue to offer crypto trading services at DMM Bitcoin.
GMO Internet, the parent company of crypto exchange GMO Coin, also announced on Tuesday that it will no longer develop, manufacture or sell cryptocurrency mining machines, although it will continue to mine in-house. However, GMO said that this decision will not affect services by GMO Coin or the development of its yen-pegged stablecoin, which was announced in October.
What do you think of the number of companies wanting to enter the Japanese crypto market? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, DMM.com, and GMO Internet.
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