Japanese Exchanges ‘Punished’ By FSA Regulators

  • FSA suspended trading on 2 Japanese exchanges for 30 days
  • 5 Japanese exchanges were found to have inadequate security and most produce a security audit by March 22nd

The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) stated on Thursday 8th that it has suspended two cryptocurrency exchanges. Each suspension is a month long and starts from today. The suspension has been ordered as the result of poor security and compliance standards.

Bit Station and FSHO were the exchanges that had trading halted for a month. However, 5 other exchanges came under fire from the FSA and must produce and submit a ‘Security Improvement Plan’ by March 22nd. 

The FSA found these five exchanges to have insufficient security measures. Those five exchanges are Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, Mister Exchange, Bicrements as well as Coincheck.

Coincheck

Coincheck suffered one of the worst cyber heists in history in late January this year. Over $500 million in NEM were stolen. It is thought that the heist prompted Japanese regulators to conduct more thorough checks of all crypto exchanges in the country. The Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada even agreed with the FSA decisions and said that the current systems:

“Weren’t in keeping with the expansion of our business”

Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada

Coincheck said a hacker used malware to infiltrate the network, the hacker then proceeded to steal an encrypted key which was used to transfer coins out of the exchange. Despite claiming to store the majority of their funds in ‘cold storage’, the coins were stolen from ‘hot wallets’ which are exposed to the internet making the coins more vulnerable.

Unregistered Exchanges

According to an article from Reuters, many of the exchanges in Japan are unregistered with the FSA. 

“It’s problematic that these 16 unregistered exchanges have been able to continue trading... In the first place, should they have been allowed to operate while their applications for registrations are still incomplete?”

Sanae Takaichi

It is not just the unregistered exchanges that have been deemed to fall short in security measures. The FAS found that GMO Coin, a registered exchange, was suffering system glitches frequently and the exchange was unable to identify the root cause of the glitch. It is the FSA's hope that, by ordering security reports for March 22nd, another possible Coincheck scenario can be avoided.

XRP Trading Now Available to Customers of Huobi Marketplace in USA and China

On Thursday (April 18), Huobi Marketplace (formerly known as "HBUS"), the cryptoasset exchange operated by San Francisco-based company HBUS Holdco, Inc. ("HBUS"), the exclusive U.S. partner of Singapore-based Huobi Global Limited (“Huobi Global”), announced that XRP trading had become available on Huobi.com.

The Huobi Marketplace originally went live under the "HBUS" brand on 10 July 2018. Initially, trading was only available in Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Tether (USDT), Civic (CVC), Dash (DASH), and TrueUSD (TUSD). By 29 November 2018, 12 cryptoassets and 35 trading pairs were supported. 

Then, on January 11, HBUS published a blog post in which the company's CEO, Frank Fu, said that HBUS had "obtained exclusive rights to use the Huobi brand in the U.S." and changed the name of its marketplace (i.e. crypto trading platform) from HBUS to Huobi. HBUS also said that it had migrated "from its previous website (www.hbus.com) to the new domain at www.huobi.com."

In a press release issued on the same day, which was also posted to its blog, HBUS explained that it would continue to be "the company operating the U.S. trading platform," while Huobi Global, Huobi Group’s flagship digital asset exchange, would continue "to operate under its own name at hbg.com."

Here is how HBUS explained the advantages of this strategic partnership with Huobi Global:

"The exclusive licensing agreement and partnership gives HBUS a reputable brand to provide U.S. traders with localized trading experience. A closer relationship also means more technological support from Huobi Global for HBUS, which will provide advanced stability and security features."

Thursday's announcement by Huobi Marketplace informed customers that in order to provide them with "carefully vetted and high-quality trading options," it was adding support for XRP:

"Starting now, you can deposit XRP on the Huobi Marketplace, and the estimated opening time for XRP trading and withdrawals will be April 19th, 2019 at 12:00AM PST. Supported XRP trading pairs include XRP/USD, XRP/BTC and XRP/USDT."

 

Featured Image Courtesy of HBUS