Two Japanese Crypto Exchanges Withdraw Applications To Operate

John Medley
  • Tokyo GateWay and Mr. Exchange have voluntarily withdrawn their applications to operate as crypto-asset exchange in Japan
  • Japan's Financial Services Agency have been enforcing higher security standards for all crypto-asset exchanges in the wake of the Coincheck hack

Since the infamous Coincheck hack in January that saw over $500 million in NEM stolen, Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency) has started improving the security of crypto exchanges. Nikkei reported on Thursday that two crypto exchanges in Japan have withdrawn their applications to operate.

Contrary to misleading articles, Tokyo GateWay and Mr. Exchange have voluntarily withdrawn their applications to operate as crypto-asset exchanges in Japan.

It is thought that Tokyo Gateway and Mr. Exchange had insufficient security procedures and standards making it highly unlikely that they would have met the FSA's stricter requirements. Making an application to operate a fruitless endeavour.

The FSA ordered all crypto exchanges to improve security in the wake of the Coincheck hack. Two exchanges -  Bit Station and FSHO - were suspended for 30 days and 5 exchanges - Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, Mister Exchange, Bicrements and Coincheck - had to conduct a full security audit and provide a “Security Improvement Plan” by March 22nd.

Japan’s Crypto Markets Mature Under FSA Guidance

Despite the numerous reports of Japanese exchanges being forcefully closed down the reality is different. The FSA has imposed security standards to help prevent Coincheck or MtGox style hacks. A process that has fortunately identified several security flaws in numerous exchanges. These exchanges have been left with a choice of improving security or shutting down. It is the FSA’s hope to mature the crypto market and improve standards.

As the volumes of crypto-asset trading falls and competition ramps up, the crypto exchange business model is becoming less lucrative. Analysts expect the number of exchanges to drop and the market to consolidate around a small group of exchanges. However, it is thought to be a positive progression for the market improving liquidity and security.

Malta's Financial Watchdog Warns Against Two Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Malta’s financial watchdog, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), has issued statements against two cryptocurrency trading platform that reportedly don’t have licenses to operate in the country.

The MSFA, over two warnings, warned against both Crypto Foxtrades and COINMALEX.0 In the first warning the financial watchdog wrote it was aware Crypto Foxtrades claims to be “a licensed and regulated trading platform that serves over 500,000 customers globally,” and that it purports to be “licensed and regulated” by the MFSA.

The regulator warned the public against “undertaking nay business or transaction” with the entity operating Crypto Foxtrades, writing:

The MFSA wishes to alert the public, in Malta and abroad, that Crypto Foxtrades is NOT a Maltese registered Company NOR licenced or otherwise authorised by the MFSA to provide the service of an exchange or other financial services which are required to be licenced or otherwise authorised under Maltese law.

The second warning saw the MFSA write that it has become aware of COINMALEX, which claims to offer “trust assets management of the highest quality on the basis of profitable CryptoCurrency trading through Crypto exchanges”.

The organization states it operating from Malta, but the MFSA issued a similar warning to the public against using it as it isn’t licensed or authorized to operate in the country, clarifying it “does not believe” it operates from an address in Malta.

The MFSA added.

Furthermore, information available to the MFSA suggests that COINMALEX is likely to be a scheme of dubious nature with a high risk of loss of money.

On both warnings, Malta’s financial watchdog advised the public to be “extra cautious” when the entity offering financial services approaches them “via unconventional channels such as telephone calls or social media.

Earlier this year, the MSFA said leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance wasn’t authorized to operate in the country. On social media its CEO Changpeng Zhao responded saying to reports on the statement from the MFSA saying there was a “mix of truth, FUD & misconception” circulating.

Featured image via Pixabay.