Crypto in Japan: FSA Says 190 Companies Looking to Register as Cryptocurrency Operators

Avi Rosten

The Japanese financial regulator, the FSA (Financial Services Agency) has recently revealed that more companies are seeking to enter Japanese crypto markets - with over 190 companies looking to register as cryptocurrency operators.

Talking to news.bitcoin.com, the FSA explained that:

Including preliminary consultation/inquiries regarding registration, more than 190 operators are expressing their intention of market entry.

Interestingly, despite the ongoing crypto bear market that has seen crypto prices plummet this quarter, the number is up by more than 30 since the FSA’s statement in August that 160 operators were seeking access to the Japanese market.

Currently, there are only 16 licensed exchanges in the country - including GMO coin - whose parent company, GMO Internet, announced this week that it is completely winding down its Bitcoin mining offering.

Although the identity of the 190 firms remains unconfirmed by the FSA, the report explains that several companies have made their own announcements including Yahoo! Japan and Line Corp.

Recent Japanese Developments

The Japanese crypto market has seen several important developments recently.

Earlier in December, the FSA explained that it is set to introduce a new regulatory framework next year for ICOs. Under the new rules, Japanese citizens will be limited in the amount they can invest in ICO-related projects, while business owners who want to issue their own digital currency will be required to register with the FSA.

This week also saw the news that Mizuho Financial Group (MHFG), one of the largest financial institutions in the world, is reportedly launching its own yen-pegged stablecoin in March 2019, aimed at facilitating cashless payments between Japanese retailers. The group hopes that by charging shops "fees significantly lower than for credit card services" it will gain traction with its new digital currency among shop owners.