Coinbase Welcomes Japan Crypto Clampdown

As it awaits its operating license from Japanese regulators, U.S. crypto exchange giant Coinbase has reacted positively toward the country’s toughened stance on crypto exchange platforms. The company believes that this stance adopted by Japanese regulators gives it an advantage over any present competition, and it is willing to prove that the firm can be successful in a market rocked by hacking scandals.

Crackdown Changes Little

In a recent interview with financial newspaper Nikkei Asian Review, Coinbase Chief Policy Officer Mike Lempres said that talks for obtaining the license are "going well" with the country’s top financial watchdog, adding that the regulator’s focus on security is “good for us.”

Founded in 2012, Coinbase has become one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges with a reported 20 million accounts and $1 billion in revenue between 2017 and 2018. Earlier this year, the company announced  its entry into the Japanese market and revealed that it was searching for a Managing Director for the new Japanese operation.

The company has repeatedly expressed confidence in recent weeks that acquiring a Japanese operating permit is a “sure thing.” Lempres did say however, that there are some issues that are under discussion for regulatory approval. One key question is whether Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will require the exchange's system to be managed in Japan. While such a move would improve the FSA's ability to monitor transactions, it could create additional security risks for Coinbase.

Japanese Government’s Focus on Security Not a Problem

Japan is traditionally perceived as a cryptocurrency haven due to its large pool of retail investors and light-touch government policies. In part as a result of this, the company’s cryptocurrency exchange industry has been rocked by a series of high-profile exchange hacks, losing billions of dollars of investor money, and eventually leading to a recent tightening of the regulatory framework for crypto exchanges.

Acknowledging the Japanese government’s concerns, Lempres pointed out that Coinbase has built  its reputation on security and safeguarding the interests and investment of all its clientele before anything else.

According to Lempres, Coinbase devotes far more resources to securing client assets than many other cryptocurrency exchanges, with “dozens” of the firm’s 550 employees working full-time on asset security.