Ten Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges have signed an agreement with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department to collaborate to prevent cyber crime. Along with growing bitcoin adoption in Japan is the number of cybercrime cases including unauthorized access to online accounts and money laundering.
10 Exchanges Collaborate
Ten of Japan’s leading cryptocurrency exchanges signed an “agreement on countermeasures against cybercrime” with the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department on Wednesday. This move is “in response to the increasing number of crimes targeting digital currencies online such as bitcoin,” Sankei Shimbun described.
The exchanges are SBI Virtual Currencies, Bitflyer, Bitpoint Japan, GMO Coin, Coincheck, Bit Trade, Quoine, Bitbank, Btc Box, and Money Partners. All of the companies have been licensed by the Japanese Financial Services Authority (FSA) to legally operate as digital currency exchanges, except one – Coincheck. Japan’s second-largest bitcoin exchange by volume is still under review by the agency.
In order to prevent cyber crime, the exchanges agree to cooperate with each other and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department. Specifically, they agree to “mutual cooperation, cybercrime reporting notification, criminal investigation cooperation, information sharing, [and] measures to prevent widespread damage,” App Times detailed.
Rising Cybercrime Cases
The Director of Security Bureau of the National Police Agency (NPA) commented, “Although the spread of virtual currency is remarkable, it is a sense of crisis when it turns into a crime; this agreement is encouraging.” Digital currency exchanges face many cybersecurity challenges such as unauthorized access, illegal transactions, and money laundering.
Last month, the National Police Agency revealed 170 money laundering cases in Japan involving cryptocurrency in the six months ending in October, Japan Times reported. “We want to take countermeasures by collaborating with relevant ministries and agencies as well as business operators,” an NPA official emphasized.
A November Cabinet Office survey of 3,000 people in Japan aged 18 and over shows “a growing number of people are worried about the effects of cyber-terrorism, unauthorized access to online accounts and other high-tech crimes,” the news outlet detailed.
Bitflyer CEO Yuzo Kano commented:
While the number of shops that can settle virtual currencies has increased, the number of crimes is increasing…we want to work hard to prevent damage.
What do you think of Japan’s top cryptocurrency exchanges and the Tokyo Police Department uniting to fight cyber crime? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Tokyo Police Department.
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