Mt.Gox Trustee Sold $318 Million Cryptos on Japanese Exchange – GoxDox Report

Although Mt.Gox is bankrupt since last four years, the controversies and talks on it didn’t finish yet. Recently leaked data reports that bankrupted Japanese bitcoin exchange, MtGox, reportedly sold $312 million cryptocurrencies through Japan’s BitPoint exchange, BitPoint.
Massive Amount of Crypto Sold on Japanese Exchange
It was revealed on a website ‘goxdox.com’ by an unidentified party shares the screenshot of ‘transaction data’ captured from BitPoint exchange. The data on goxdox.com (Mt.Gox’s creditor campaign group) allegedly points out that Nobuaki Kobayashi, Mt. Gox trustee sold million dollars worth cryptocurrencies to repay to creditors.
Specifically, the bank book of trustee shows 34.3 billion yen was withdrawn which reportedly sourced to the ongoing legal proceedings of bankrupt exchange at the Tokyo District Court.
GoxDox mentioned that;
“Unless BitPoint is being really generous, we’d wager the reason they are depositing billions JPY into the trustee’s bank account is that they were hired to sell the MtGox Estate’s BTC/BCH,”
Notably, 60000 BTC and BCH crypto tokens were sold on open trading platform of Japan. Beside Bitpoint exchange, GoxDox also notes the response of Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken Exchange. Prior to BitPoint, trustee approached Jesse Powell on a similar matter to sell a huge number of crypto tokens on Kraken. As a response, Powell advised to do it an auction or OTC (over the counter ) sale to avoid the risk of affecting market price. In a similar context, Goxdox writes;
“Instead of taking Kraken’s advice, the trustee decided to (1) sell, (2) not tell us how he sold, and (3) hire a different so-called “cryptocurrency expert” to sell the BTC/BCH,”
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Source: CoinGape

XRP will be used by several major banks around the world for cross border payments says SBI’s CEO

Ripple’s major partnership in the east comes from Japan’s bank consortium SBI, which has several major banks under its wing. The CEO of SBI, Yoshitaka Kitao said in an interview with Boss’ monthly issue that major banks will use XRP around the world for Cross Border Payments.
A Twitter user and XRP enthusiast, @Dillon posted a tweet which translated the Boss’ monthly issue. He tweeted:
“SBI CEO @yoshitaka_kitao says he thinks 20 major banks will use XRP in 2019! And some other nuggets. Translated from the BOSS monthly issue Feb 2nd 2019. Lets go”
As per the interview for Boss, which is a 24-page monthly issue about the future of payments, Yoshitaka Kitao said that he was looking for new ways to integrate XRP into the payment system and that he wants to implement XRP massively before the 2025 Osaka Expo.
Mr. Kitao continued that it was difficult to make payments via Bitcoin and that he believes that XRP would be an alternative. He continued that he wanted to set the stage for XRP to take off when the time was right.
He continued:
“I think 2019 is the year when approximately 20 of the world’s major banks would start to incorporate XRP for international money transactions.”
Kitao added that Japan already has a money transfer application called “Money Tap” which used Distributed Ledger Technology [DLT] but not XRP and that he wants to inculcate XRP via “Corda” which is R3’s application for transferring assets.
With the recent R3 and SBI Holdings partnership, Mr. Kitao’s dream about setting XRP for a massive implementation in the financial system is closer to reality.
Yoshitaka Kitao stated:
“We would like to create a joint venture with R3 and SBI in Japan like we did with Ripple. And start up the consortium as soon as possible and develop the system while holding the conferences in which many people can learn the system in parallel. In this way, by using XRP, visitors from all around the world come to Japan can pay bills  without exchanging the money from US dollars to Japanese Yen.”
Yoshitaka Kitao said that as soon as this partnership is done, they will be focussing on expanding this system across the world and that it was his dream to achieve this. Kitao said:
“Ripple has a strong feature on transferring money, therefore, we can take advantage by using Ripple for international money transfer and the rest of the transaction will be done using R3’s Corda… Our current strategy is to expand worldide and complete the system before Osaka EXPO 2025”
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Source: AMB Crypto

Bitcoin [BTC] Trading: Japanese Yen overtakes US Dollar in terms of 24 hour volume

The Japanese Yen today overtook the US Dollar, the world’s premier reserve currency in terms of Bitcoin trading volume over the past 24 hours. This data, compiled by Coinhills, only stands to strengthen Japan’s standing in the global cryptocurrency market.
The report compiled by Coinhills suggests that over the past 24 hours, 490,925.30 BTC were traded against the Japanese Yen [JPY]. This accounted for 49.1 percent of all trades against the cryptocurrency. On the other hand, the US Dollar accounted for a lower 45.8 percent of all Bitcoin trades. This is the second time JPY has overshadowed the US Dollar in terms of Bitcoin trading volume over the past year. Together, the JPY and USD contribute towards a massive 94.9 percent of all fiat currencies that are traded against the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The world’s other leading currencies such as the Euro, the Korean Won and the British Pound lag far behind.
This development only stands to contribute to the argument that Japan is at the forefront of the cryptocurrency revolution that is slowly transforming the global economy. Japan’s present position has been achieved by the country being consistently friendly towards innovations and technologies. The country has allowed the free use and free trade of cryptocurrencies, allowing the industry to flourish on the islands.
Japan’s influence in the cryptocurrency industry is such that according to a new study, Asian markets led by Japan, South Korea and China have impacted the pricing in the industry by a significant 18.61% percent.
When compared to the Japanese Yen however, the US Dollar has seen a more turbulent time of late. Even the value of Bitcoin has fallen more dramatically against the US Dollar, as against its trade against the Japanese Yen. Further, when compared to the East, Western markets have been more cautious with respect to pushing forward regulations for the cryptocurrency market. In the United States for instance, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are yet to achieve wider and mainstream acceptance which is why despite some efforts at the State and county level, a national framework for the industry is left wanting.
The rise of the Japanese Yen and the gradual fall of the US Dollar against Bitcoin trading could thus indicate the ascent of a major regional superpower in the cryptosphere.
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Source: AMB Crypto

It’s Not Bitcoin, It’s Global & Government Debt Hitting All-Time High (ATH)

Global debt is fast approaching $244 trillion, three times the size of global economy where most indebted economies are the richer ones. Government debt has now reached about 80% of global GDP while private debt is on the rise as well. Closing the first decade after the global financial crisis, “legacy of excessive debt still looms large.”
Global Debt Skyrocketing: Most Indebted Economies are Richer ones
The world debt pile is only rising while currently hovering around $244 trillion which according to an analysis by the Washington-based Institute of International Finance is three times the size of the global economy.
Despite the stronger pace of economic growth, in the third quarter of last year, the global debt-to-GDP ratio exceeded 318 percent.
Earlier this month, IMF released the new data on global data that has reached an all-time high of $184 trillion in nominal terms which is 225 percent of GDP in 2017. The interesting and not so surprising fact presented by the IMF is “the most indebted economies in the world are also the richer ones.”
“The top three borrowers in the world—the United States, China, and Japan—account for more than half of global debt, exceeding their share of global output.”
The driving force behind the global debt is the private sector’s debt which has tripled since 1950. IMF further reports that since the global financial crisis, rise in private debt in emerging markets which is led by China is overtaking the advanced economies. While the global public debt has been on the reversal which after a steady decline up to the mid-1970s, has gone up since.
Govt. Debt Hitting Record as well
According to the Fitch Ratings, the government debt has now reached about 80% of global GDP by hitting $66 trillion through 2018 end. While developed market debt had remained somewhat stable, US is the exception with its IOU surging by 44 percent.
CNBC stated, “U.S. debt began accelerating at the turn of the 21st century. The total jumped 85 percent to $10.6 trillion during former President George W. Bush’s two terms, another 88 percent to $19.9 trillion under President Barack Obama and has risen 10 percent during the first two years of President Donald Trump’s term.”
James McCormack, Fitch’s global head of sovereign ratings said, “Government debt levels are high, leaving many countries poorly positioned for financial tightening as global interest rates begin to move higher.”
“With financial conditions tightening in many countries, which includes rising interest rates, prospects for bringing debt down remain uncertain. The high levels of corporate and government debt built up over years of easy global financial conditions (…) constitute a potential fault line,” wrote IMF.
Closing the first decade after the global financial crisis, IMF cautioned, “legacy of excessive debt still looms large.”
What will be the answer to this? Crypto enthusiasts will say Bitcoin as did this one, “No doubt Bitcoin will be the gold standard in a world where total debt of the world is overtaking the total global.” And as the recent report by Lucid Investment Strategies says that Bitcoin can reach mass adoption and provide a permanent fix to the debt crisis. For this, it states, Bitcoin has to climb to $10 million as at that level, “Bitcoin would provide a sufficient reserve to alleviate the world debt burden.”
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Source: CoinGape

China Could be the First Major Crypto Market if they embrace it – Weiss Ratings

It is no longer news that Japan is at the forefront when it comes to cryptocurrency adoption. This has earned it the potential honor of becoming the number one major market for cryptocurrency in the world. However, Weiss Ratings says China could be just as big if not bigger than Japan if only it integrates it. The statement was in response to a post by Joseph Young, a renowned Hong-Kong based crypto investor, analyst, and author.

Alternatively, China could also be one of the first if they integrate #crypto into their #WePay system. https://t.co/1Mp5hVsq5M
— Weiss Ratings (@WeissRatings) January 24, 2019

China guilty of resisting the crypto industry
At one point, even crypto-related events were not allowed in China, which led to experts expressing fear that China may lose its influence on the industry. Despite these hurdles, China’s economy is still largely made up of the cryptocurrency industry with major companies like the exchange Bit-Z, OkCoin, and crypto billionaires such as Li Xiaolai. Imagine where the country would be if it gave crypto a chance!
Anyone who has been following trends in the cryptocurrency industry knows that the industry has had it with China. First, the buying and selling of crypto were banned in China. This, however, did not stop its citizens from trading Bitcoin at the time using peer-to-peer exchange.
Japan, a hub for crypto
Japan, on the other hand, has been very friendly towards cryptocurrency and crypto startups. For starters, it has some of the top crypto companies including BitBank, Line Financial, CoinCheck, and BiTrade to name a few. In fact, Japan falls into the category of Malta which has become a hub for crypto startups.
It can’t be surprising therefore that it is soon to become the first major market for the industry. If China gave crypto half the opportunity Japan has given the industry, it definitely would have been the very first major market as Weiss Ratings said.
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Source: CoinGape

Japan to Launch Blockchain Payment Experiment for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Japan’s famously conservative financial system is set to receive the biggest shakeup in decades as one of the world’s largest financial institutions is building a blockchain-based consumer network designed to handle a million transactions per second in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The MIT Technology Review reports that Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), which is Japan’s largest bank by assets and the fifth biggest bank in the world is collaborating with American internet startup Akamai, to build and deploy what is set to be the world’s fastest payment network, far superior to Visa and Bitcoin, which are currently the largest fiat and crypto networks.
If the experiment succeeds in time for the Olympics, it would signal a new era of financial innovation in a country still dominated by cash transactions despite the world leading electronic transaction infrastructure that is obtainable in many of its Asian neighbors like South Korea and China. It would also become the first large-scale deployment of a blockchain payment solution in Japan following similar experimental efforts by Mizuho Financial Group and SBI Holdings.
Japan’s Cash Problem
Despite its reputation for world-leading technology innovation in so many areas, Japan’s financial system remains a stubborn holdout, in part due to a stubborn cultural preference for paying in cash for goods and services. Japanese citizens are the world’s most prolific users of physical cash, with the cost of running the country’s 200,000-strong ATM network along with cash registers and bullion vans estimated at $18 billion annually.
While the Japanese financial industry may be willing to endure the cost of this status quo in exchange for keeping its stranglehold on the famously patriotic Japanese consumer market, the siting of next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo will make the situation untenable. With hundreds of thousands of international visitors expected in Tokyo alone.
As many of these visitors are from countries where electronic transactions are par for the course, it is estimated that Japan could miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars which the stolid Japanese economy could really use at this point.
Primed to Leapfrog?
MUFG may likely have its eyes on some key facts about cryptocurrency use in Japan that has convinced it that this is the way to go. First of all, while Japanese consumers might be notorious for their cash preference, cryptocurrency is also wildly popular in the country, and at one point the defunct bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox processed as much as 70 percent of the world’s bitcoin exchange transactions.
The Japanese Financial Standards Agency (FSA) is also one of the world’s most experienced authorities in the field of cryptocurrency regulation, and MUFG’s bet is that these factors make Japan uniquely positioned to leapfrog from cash to cryptocurrency, skipping two decades worth of legacy electronic transaction technology in the process.
The only existing reference for leapfrogging on such a grand scale is probably the GSM revolution in sub-Saharan Africa which saw the world’s last population to come online become one of the tech-savviest in the space of 15 years, by leapfrogging legacy telecoms technology and going straight into GSM and CDMA networking. A similar move in Japan would see it overnight become the world’s biggest staging point for cryptocurrency adoption and a possible starting point for similar national or supranational network deployments around the world.
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Source: CoinGape

Huobi Exchange Remain Profitable – CEO Claims, Amid Bear Market & Lay Off

Huobi exchange which has announced the lay off for almost 50 percent of its staff is still profitable. The chief executive of Huobi Global, Livio Weng Xiaoqi claims that the firm’s valuation is profitable every month.
Turning Profits Amidst Layoffs and FSA Licencing
During an interview, Weng in his Beijing office discusses how Houbi is still worth profiting regularly. Although the figures for profit is a matter of secret but Weng credits ‘transaction fees’ as the main source of earning for exchange. He said that;
“We do not know how long the bear market will last, so it is still possible that we will struggle to survive. We have to plan in advance and spend money carefully.”
Huobi global, the main exchange business is reportedly contributing as much as 70 percent of its total revenue. As per the data from Coinmarketcap, the exchange valued the average trading volume of $256,282,917, plunged to the eighth position by losing 25.43 percent during 24hrs.
Source: CoinMarketCap
Regulated Crypto Exchange 
Despite the strict regulatory compliance, Huobi exchange intends to reach millions across the world. Significantly, Huobi on 17th Jan 2019 has acquired a license from FSA (Financial Service Agency) to capture the Japanese market. By acquiring the license, the exchange is now a fully licensed platform in Japan. Interestingly, the firm is also merged with BitTrade exchange which was one of the 17th exchange receiving the license from FCA. Following the acquisition, BitTrade’s existing customers are expecting to have new account with Huobi Japan and to undergo with KYC process as well. Haiteng Chen, Huobi Japan CEO says;
“We’re looking to continue to grow our presence here while offering top-notch digital asset trading services in Japan.”
Huobi’s mission of capturing the global market is likely the reason why it wants to be a fully licensed firm across the various countries. Notably, until now, it has obtained the license in USA, Japan, and Europe. In a similar context, Weng reveals that Huobi’s major audience is Chinese who live outside of China. Accordingly, he says that 70 percent of Houbi’s customer who is Chinese uses VPN service. He notes that,
 “Our greatest advantage over competitors is that we have licenses in all major countries – we are the only one among top global exchanges,”
Besides operating as a crypto exchange, Huobi is also exciting the people interested in future trading. Accordingly, in late 2018, it has launched the ‘derivative trading platform’ in competition to OKEx and BitMEX exchange. As on Jan 17, 2019, Huobi Derivative Market marks more than $20 billion as per the reports. Further, the achievement co-relates the company’s believe of catering to customer’s requisites. Livio Weng says that;
“I believe this explains our platform’s explosive growth, even in the midst of the ongoing bear market,”
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Source: CoinGape

Bitcoin [BTC]: Liquid-Bitcoin can now be traded with Japanese Yen pegged stable coins privately on Liquid Network

Crypto Garage, a subsidiary of Digital Garage and a fintech company in blockchain financial services sector, received an official green signal to conduct the first blockchain and finance project.
The regulatory sandbox is managed by the Secretariat of Japan and has given Crypto Garage the signal to participate with cryptocurrency exchanges. The official announcement by Crypto Garage stated:
“Under this project, Crypto Garage will provide the participating crypto-exchanges with “SETTLENET”, which allows the exchanges to issue a stablecoin pegged to Japanese Yen (JPY-Token) on the “Liquid Network”, and trade against Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC) that are pegged to Bitcoin on a Bitcoin sidechain launched by Blockstream Corporation”
Settlenet is a suite of products to enhance application development on the Liquid Network. In addition, this project will make use of atomic swap technology that will allow L-BTC and JPY-tokens to be transferred simultaneously on the Liquid Network.
Atomic Swap technology enables peer-to-peer simultaneous exchange of crypto-assets from one part to another, without counter-party risks and going through a third party service without any counterparty risks or intermediaries
This is helpful especially for regulatory authorities as the Settlenet will allow the regulatory bodies to monitor any discrepancies or unlawful practices like money laundering.
This partnership plans to improve the overall growth of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and markets by providing enough liquidity and relatively stabilize price movements, minimize counterparty risk, increase the visibility of trading for the regulatory authorities. In addition, it aims to solve the security risks that the exchanges inherently possess.
The official announcement added:
“This initiative is a proof-of-concept project authorized by Regulatory Sandbox in Japan. The project will test and validate i) the secure transfer of crypto assets on a sidechain network and ii) the possibility of building a stable and healthy OTC market by improving transparency for the price-making process.”
Furthermore, the partnership for the project will have a term of one-year and the participating crypto-exchanges will be limited to those with a Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange License and the transaction amount will be limited. During this timeframe of one-year, Crypto Garage will provide Settlenet for free to all the participating exchanges.
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Source: AMB Crypto

Japan Explores Bitcoin ETF but Demand for Product is Mysterious

Japan’s financial watchdog could embrace exchange-traded funds that track the value of Bitcoin and similar digital asset classes, Bloomberg reported.
The Financial Services Agency (FSA), according to an anonymous source, has been exploring Bitcoin ETFs on the sidelines of its disapproval of the Bitcoin futures and Ethereum derivatives. The agency has clarified that it will not make modifications to Japan’s existing securities laws to cater for crypto assets. The decision came as a blow to the Bitcoin industry, which was looking to draw significant funds from the institutional markets after undergoing a very depressive year recently.
The FSA’s stance has been handled to the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. It should allow the political group to table a bill during the current Diet session. By 2020, Japan could be looking at a stricter Bitcoin law, according to which self-regulation could draw more regulatory oversights, ICO sector could come under the securities law, and crypto brokers could lose their leverages.
Bitcoin ETF a Flipside
Bitcoin ETF could be an alternative to keep the interest of potential investors alive in the crypto space. In the Western markets, the possible launch of crypto ETFs has forecasted bullish outcomes for the underlying assets. VanEck, whose Bitcoin ETF is now in the last stretch of approval from the US securities watchdog, expects a minimum of $1 billion inbound investment from retail and institutional space.
Japan, with a total of 31 ETFs available across equity and currency assets, gathers management of a $335 billion market. The country’s payment service act has ensured that bitcoin is neither currency nor equity. Instead, the FSA defines the digital currency as a “property value.” The Bloomberg report indicates that the regulator could be looking at amending the payment service act, intensifying the rumor that Japan could end up introducing Bitcoin as one of the main assets of its ETF offerings.
Japanese Retail Prefers Mutual Funds
An FSA-approved Bitcoin ETF could expose itself to the Japanese retail investment space. But whether investors would find the new asset attractive is doubtful. Like regulators, investors would prefer assets that are free from the risk of manipulation. These safeguards, unfortunately, do not exist in the Bitcoin market. It is the same reason why the Securities and Exchange Commission consecutively rejected nine Bitcoin ETF proposals because it found the underlying asset Bitcoin too volatile.
VanEck, in response, created a bitcoin price index backed by US-regulated exchanges, to meet the demand of both investors and regulators.
Japanese retail investors, meanwhile, have not publicly expressed their desires to invest in a crypto ETF. They already have alternatives in traditional markets’ stock and bond funds. But they prefer mutual funds above everything else, leaving Bitcoin with a long competitive market to win.
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Japan’s FSA Gauging Industry Interest Towards Bitcoin ETF Ignores Crypto Futures

In the chaos of approving Bitcoin ETF across crypto space by US regulators, Bloomberg reported that Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is quite optimistic to approve the proposal.
Japan Explores Crypto ETFs
An anonymous person in connection to the matter said that regulators in Japan at the moment are considering to step up with ETF tracking cryptocurrencies instead of future contracts. The FSA’s effort may revive the case of Coincheck hack and many such heist incidents that happened in Japan last year. Henceforth, it would offer more rights and power to country’s self-regulatory bodies and enable them to bring more Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) under ‘the scope of securities law’.
However a month ago, Japan’s regulators appeared to have revised the nation’s securities law which would let crypto futures and options to ‘be listed on major financial exchanges’ (only after the due diligence of the potentials of these products within the market beside stock speculations).
Saying No To Crypto Futures
In consideration of Bitcoin ETF, Japan is likely to bar the ‘long awaiting bitcoin and Ethereum futures’. On the other hand, US Securities and Exchange Commission has already rejected Bitcoin ETFs including Wrinklovess’s and has delayed many other proposals.
Furthermore, during October 2018, FSA proposed the plan of expanding its regulatory extents in Japan. Additionally, the anonymous person (who requested to remain anonymous) told the media that if Japan approves the ETF, it would serve ‘as the key for a bill’ that Liberal Democratic Party will submit by March. Henceforth, the law will come into effect as early as 2020.
As claimed by the reports earlier, Japan has planned to change securities legislation through the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act and the latest anonymous person reported that FSA’s recommendations are pointing to amend the Payment Service Act as well.
So readers, what do you think about FSA’s decision?  Do you think it’s a right move citing the present downtrending crypto market? 
The post Japan’s FSA Gauging Industry Interest Towards Bitcoin ETF Ignores Crypto Futures appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Coincheck To Receive License From Japanese Regulators Nearly A Year After The Hack

Not many cryptocurrency exchanges have been able to get back on track after suffering a major hack.  And the one that has done it has strived for quite some time get back to glory days. Well looking at this trend, it seems Coincheck has done some tremendous work and is about to be licensed by the Japanese regulator within a year of its hack
Coincheck has taken tremendous measures to improve operations
Most part of 2018 has been a tough year for Japan-based crypto exchange, Coincheck but looks like they are going to enter 2019 with a much brighter smile. With a year of being hacked and within a month of restoring back operations looks like the exchange would soon receive its cryptocurrency exchange license from Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
Coincheck began 2018 on a bad note as it was reported that the exchange had informed the authorities of an “inappropriate transfer” of $532 mn worth of NEM. The hack was so big that NEM Foundation president Lon Wong called the stolen funds “the biggest theft in the history of the world.” This hack forced Japanese regulators to intensify scrutiny on domestic exchanges.
The hack also forced the exchange to change its shareholder composition and other management system and in April 2018 Japanese financial services provider Monex Group announced that it will acquire 100 percent of shares of Coincheck Inc. Since then the exchange has functioned as a wholly owned subsidiary of Monex Group.
At the time of hack Coincheck was Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and after being hacked, the FSA had twice ordered the exchange to improve its business operations; the agency found it was unprepared in regard to customer protection and money laundering.
This time the regulator seemed satisfied and after looking at the improved customer protection and other systems that are now put up Monex Group, the regulator decided to grant the license
According to Nikkei Asia that broke this news, The FSA’s decision to grant a license to Coincheck is expected to trigger the resumption of the agency’s approval process. Nearly 200 companies are said to be waiting for licenses. In deciding whether to grant licenses, the FSA will continue scrutinizing business plans, anti-hacking measures and the effectiveness of shields put up against other misconduct.
After having lost its face, the complete resumption of services for all cryptocurrencies and the license should help Coincheck return to its glory days sooner. A hack is always a miserable thing for an exchange and Coincheck’s revival should definitely work as an example for other exchanges. One will have to see what plans does Monex have in mind with respect to Coincheck now.
Will Coincheck be able to get back to its glory days? Do let us know your views on the same.
The post Coincheck To Receive License From Japanese Regulators Nearly A Year After The Hack appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Japan Reclassifies Crypto While Hong Kong Tightens Regulations

Two of the most crypto friendly nations on the globe have been revisiting their regulatory frameworks this week. Japan has reclassified its terminology of cryptocurrencies while over in Hong Kong regulators want more oversight on exchanges and crypto companies.
FSA to Change Moniker for Crypto
Japan’s Financial Services Agency has made moves to label Bitcoin and altcoins under one category called ‘crypto assets’. According to local media the move has been implemented to reconfirm that they are not considered as regular currencies by the government. Last week an advisory panel came to the conclusion that the term ‘virtual currency’ may lead investors to believe cryptos have the same status as fiat. To alleviate any possible misunderstanding they have requested the change.
Relevant laws will be amended to reflect the new classification, among them the Payment Services Law which defines the usage of digital currencies. Back in March leaders of the G20 agreed that virtual currencies “lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies,” and should therefore be called ‘crypto assets’. The FSA are also working on tweaking regulations to offer better protection for investors by requiring companies that handle crypto-assets implement strict management systems for cash outflow.
Hong Kong to Tweak Regulations
Over in Hong Kong companies working with digital currencies need to comply with regulations set by the Securities and Futures Commission. Since China issued an outright ban on all things crypto Hong Kong has become a hotbed of activity for the industry, especially ICOs.
The Nikkei Asian Review reported that growing concerns over money laundering and fraud has prompted action from the regulator. SFC guidelines stipulate that investment funds with more than 10% dedicated to cryptocurrency will need to obtain a license. They will also only be allowed to sell to professional investors, not the general public.
Exchanges and companies will have the opportunity to test products in a ‘sandbox’ before making the decision to apply for a license. Other requirements are for those issuing ICOs which will need to occur in stages with tokens having existed for at least a year.
Hong Kong is also putting greater emphasis on KYC processes to prevent spurious activity. Some have warned that the regulations may be too burdensome for some operators that want to maintain their market share. There is also the concern that official licensing may increase trading costs, though to counter this it may also encourage more institutional investors to enter a market that they now consider to be safer.
Image from Shutterstock
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Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Sign Of The Times: Basis Shutters $133M Crypto Project Due To Regulation

Although crypto startups have been capitulating en-masse due to financial restraints, a direct byproduct of Bitcoin’s rapid drawdown in value, reports indicate that a promising stablecoin venture has folded due to regulatory qualms.
$133M Crypto Project Folds Due To “Regulatory Headwinds”
In recent months, stablecoins, cryptocurrencies tied to an asset deemed “stable” (ex. U.S. dollar, gold, etc.), have seen an unparalleled rise to prominence. Collaborating with Coinbase, Boston-based Circle launched USD Coin (USDC), while Winklevoss Twins-led Gemini, Paxos, and other leading startups also joined the fray with their own promising forays into the stablecoin realm. Although a majority of these ventures, namely USDC, have been deemed a resounding success, as such crypto assets could challenge Tether (USDT) in due time, some projects of the same sort haven’t fared well.
Related Reading: Bitfinex Expands Stablecoin Listings to Provide ‘Agnostic Platform’
Per an exclusive report from The Block, Basis, a stablecoin project headed by three Princeton University graduates, will be shuttering its blinds after seven months in operation.
The American startup got off to a hot start in April 2018, raising over $133 million dollars from well-known venture groups, such as Google Ventures (GV), crypto-friendly Andreessen Horowitz, and Bain Capital. What set Basis apart from Tether, the controversial stablecoin purportedly integrally linked to Bitfinex, was its intent to use an algorithm-based “central bank” and a multi-crypto asset ecosystem, with such features allowing the startup’s native stablecoin to inflate and deflate “just like a real currency.”
Although the brains behind the operation had high hopes for their venture, which garnered notable levels of traction from leading venture funds, as noted earlier, Basis has folded its cards in a surprising turn of events.
People familiar with the matter told The Block that Basis, even with support from the likes of Andreessen Horowitz, ran into “regulatory headwinds” as it attempted to launch its in-house crypto asset. The insider sources didn’t give any further details on the matter, however, so it remains to be seen who shutdown Basis, and for what reason. Yet, seeing that the product was to be based off the U.S. dollar, with Basis operating within the jurisdiction of the United States proper, it can be assumed that one of the nation’s financial bodies was against the product’s launch and propagation.
No matter which American agency killed Basis, the startup’s closure underscores the growing anti-crypto movement from western governments. In recent weeks, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which kept quiet in regards to crypto for a majority of 2018, began to lash out, attacking two initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Airfox and Paragon, while fining the founder of EtherDelta for operating an unlicensed digital securities platform.
Although SEC commissioners haven’t directly stated that all token crowd sales can be classified as securities offerings, the entity’s recent actions indicate that it is leaning towards such an overarching ruling.
A Changing Regulatory Landscape 
With U.S. bodies putting ICOs under increasing scrutiny, coupled with a rise in crypto-friendly behavior from Eastern Asian nations, commentators have begun to speculate that crypto startups will begin to flee to nations, such as Japan and South Korea.
As reported by NewsBTC previously, local media situated in Japan, citing insider sources, claimed that the nation’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is looking into measures that would reign in ICOs, while ensuring that the crypto ecosystem maintains its health.
South Korea purportedly followed suit, even one-upping its Asian neighbor in a variety of senses. Per Korea Times, Hong Nam-ki, the nation’s minister of economy and finance, is looking into lifting the ban placed on ICOs, citing analysis pertaining to international trends, investor protection, and current crypto market conditions. Along with intending to lift the ICO blanket ban, South Korea has gone all-in on blockchain technologies, with the Asian powerhouse recently revealing the so-called “Blockchain Urban Plan” for the capital of Seoul. This initiative will see the local government allocate $100 million to bolster Seoul’s status as a blockchain capital, which should hopefully foster the adoption of this game-changing technology in the region.
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The post Sign Of The Times: Basis Shutters $133M Crypto Project Due To Regulation appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New feedNewsBTC.com

Bitcoin Cash [BTC] proponent advocates building economies with cryptocurrencies as actual currencies

Roger Ver, the CEO of Bitcoin.com more commonly known as the Bitcoin Jesus and a massive supporter of Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash spoke about Bitcoin Cash hard fork and the mainstream cryptocurrency adoption that is in play in the recent times.
Ver agreed that the slump in Bitcoin’s prices and the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem was due to the hard fork that happened on Bitcoin Cash which split into two entities, one, the Bitcoin ABC implementation backed by Roger Ver and Jihan Wu, and the SV implementation backed by Craig S. Wright and Calvin Ayre.
Bitcoin Jesus said that people need to stop speculating and build an economy where cryptocurrencies are “actually” currencies. He continued saying that this was the actual goal of Satoshi Nakamoto in his white paper “A peer to peer cash electronic cash system” right from the start. He stated that even though he wasn’t a big fan of taxes he acknowledged the adoption of Bitcoin as a payment method for paying taxes. He added:
“That’s the goal with the Bitcoin cash both the ABC camp and SV camp and I wish every cryptocurrency good luck if they’re trying to bring more economic freedoms the world by making them useful as currencies for the world. So I wish everybody good luck.”
Referring to the hard fork, and how it cost the whole ecosystem millions, if not billions Ver directed toward the Bitcoin Whitepaper and how Nakamoto opined that hard forks would be good a way to proceed if there were conflicting ideas.
Furthermore, Roger Ver said:
“I think we need to build the tools to make it easy for people to use cryptocurrencies as money, to buy and sell things and pay their bills and pay their rent and like even pay their taxes. We just heard about the state of Ohio accepting Bitcoin cash and Bitcoin through bit pay for taxes. And that’s a pretty big step towards mainstream adoption.”
Ver even substantiated his Bitcoin adoption statement and mentioned a few restaurants in Japan that accepted both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
A Twitter user A.Mashreghi commented:
“Yeah, I would’ve said the same with those heavy s***coin bags. The truth is, Roger intentionally has caused the biggest damage to investor in crypto by causing chaos , confusion & division. In the process his first causality was his own b-cash. Well know he knows, Karma is BCH.”
The post Bitcoin Cash [BTC] proponent advocates building economies with cryptocurrencies as actual currencies appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

First Bank of Toyama joins the race of launching stablecoin in Japan

While the demand for stablecoin is increasing a lot of companies in the West especially in America are releasing Stablecoins. We haven’t heard much of releases from companies in the East especially from Japan and South Korea which are way ahead than others as far as cryptos are concerned. Well, there could be an end to this trend as First Bank of Toyama in Japan has launched a pilot project to test its own stablecoin.
The First Bank Coin (FBC) to be pegged to Japanese Yen
According to the latest announcement coming from Japan, The First Bank of Toyama has launched a pilot project to test its own stablecoin, the First Bank Coin (FBC), which it plans to commercialize the token in October 2019. It is also been heard that the stablecoin will be pegged to the Japanese national currency, the Yen at a 1:1 ratio. If successful this would be one of the rare stablecoins which is not pegged to a USD.
According to the report the new stablecoin will initially be used within the bank, and its employees will have the opportunity to use it at the bank’s headquarters as an acceptable means of payment. The bank employees will also use the stablecoin for remittance purposes via a smartphone app.
The FBC coin is not the first stablecoin to be launched in Japan. In April, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Bank, one of Japan’s largest bank, piloted a stablecoin (MUFG) that allowed its employs to purchase goods at an unmanned in-house convenience store.
In this pilot, which is now at an advanced stage, the bank’s employees only need to scan a product they needed to buy using an MUFG coin mobile app, and the payment was made automatically.
In early October, GMO Internet Group, one of the largest internet companies and operator of one of the 16 licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan also unveiled plans to launch a stable virtual currency pegged to the Yen in 2019. The internet giant also claimed that the project was progressing well as they got support from a number of banks in the country.
What would be interesting here is to see is how does this stablecoin fits into the Japanese cryptocurrency regulations as last week, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Japan’s top financial regulator ruled that stablecoins are not regarded as cryptocurrencies. The FSA further said that the companies are not required to register with any organization when they issue stablecoins.
To quote the exact words of the regulator  
“In principle, stable coins pegged by legal currencies do not fall into the category of ‘virtual currencies’ due to the Payment Services Act.”
With Japanese companies now getting into the frenzy of stablecoins, in no time we may see a plethora of stablecoins in the market. The task here would be picking the right one which is regulated and audited.
Do you think we will see more stable coins in the coming months? Do let us know your views on the same
The post First Bank of Toyama joins the race of launching stablecoin in Japan appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape