Crypto-Related Inquiries Declined in Japan, Financial Regulator Reveals

Crypto-Related Inquiries Declined in Japan, Financial Regulator Reveals
Francisco Memoria

Cryptocurrency-related inquiries from investors have been declining in Japan, according to data from the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) that reveals the number went down about 23% in the third quarter of this year.

The data was first spotted by fintech news outlet Finance Feeds, which pointed out the regulator handled 1,231 inquiries related to cryptocurrencies in the quarter until the end of September, down from 1,602 in the second quarter.

It added that the FSA’s Counseling Office handled 3,559 inquiries related to cryptocurrencies in the first three months of this year alone. The large figure was likely related to last year’s cryptocurrency bull-run, that saw most cryptos hit new all-time highs.

The FSA’s data doesn’t reveal why the number of inquiries has been declining, but the news outlet points to tighter control over cryptocurrency exchanges and security incidents that affected the market this year.

As CryptoGlobe covered, almost 6,000 bitcoin were stolen from Japanese crypto exchange Zaif back in September. The coins were reportedly stored in hot wallets, and as such the hackers managed to steal bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and monacoin. Following the incident, Japan’s Ministry of Finance issued a businesses improvement order to Tech Bureau Inc, the exchange’s operator.

Coincheck, another Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, was hacked back in January of this year and lost over $500 million worth of NEM tokens. The exchange was later on sold to Monex for $34 million, and managed to reopen later on.

Recently Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) was authorized as a self-regulatory body by the Financial Services Agency, meaning it can enforce rules and take action in cases of non-compliance. In the aftermath of the security incidents, the JVCEA tightened its rules.

Curiously, the FSA’s data regarding general investment products also noted the number of inquiries fell from 2,231 in the second quarter to 2,016 in the third quarter of this year.