Ripple Labs, Inc. Appoints the CEO of SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, An an Executive

The Blockchain and cryptocurrency realm has poached another Finacial Expert to foster the growth and utilization of blockchain in Japan. Yoshitaka Kitao, previously the CEO of the SBI Holdings in Asia, has been appointed as an Executive at Ripple Labs.
SBI Holdings is one of the leading Institutional Financial firms that have implemented cryptocurrencies. It has also established a mining farm under its wing along with enabling cross-border remittance in partnership with Ripple Labs and R3.
Kitao aims to build a strong network which will compete with SWIFT’s payment network currently deployed between all banks. Moreover, he also mentioned that now only xCurrent protocol would be used for making a cross-border remittance. Hence, the growth in the use of XRP might remain unaffected which is used mainly in the xRapid protocol.
Kitao has been a firm believer of the XRP cryptocurrency, he has also stated earlier that XRP has Potential to be Global Standard in Future. Moreover, Kitao also stated his frank opinion on SEC’s take of Ripple being security or not:
“If not the SEC also has come to a level that does not put out a conclusion to the wind that’s security (securities). Going to be treated as a coin. And will be treated as a coin, take three to five years it No, I think the SEC is going to keep things going without making any conclusions. ” (translated from Japanese).
Kitao also told the media that he would act as a bridge between Ripple Labs and R3 to end their long-standing feud over an agreement to claim the XRP in 17 years. Kitao has appreciated of R3’s Corda platform; He also envisions excellent potential in their collaboration. Hence, Kitao aims to resolve their issue and bring them to mutually agreeable terms.
Also Read: SBI Holdings Lays Faith In XRP, Says Get Ready For Bull Run In 2019
Last but not least, Kitao expressed that he wasn’t satisfied with the 200 RippleNet members and aims for 10,000 members across the globe.
Do you see a bright future for Ripple and XRP with Kitao leading the realm? Please share your views with us. 
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Source: CoinGape

Cryptocurrency Exchanges, Huobi and Fisco Raided By Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA)

Japanese Financial Regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) have reportedly, conducted raids at two Cryptocurrency Exchange offices in Japan. Reportedly, the two exchanges “underwent major changes to management structures” which were brought to an investigation by the FSA.
Huobi Japan Inc., a Singapore based Exchange from China and Fisco cryptocurrency Inc., Minato-ku-based Exchange were the two firms put under surveillance.
According to a press release from Reuters,
“The FSA investigations were designed to ensure appropriate measures have been implemented for customer protection and legal compliance after the management changes, the sources said.”
Furthermore, the sources remained anonymous as they are not authorized to speak to the media. Huobi Japan Inc. was established under its parent company based out of Singapore after it acquired the Government registered, BitTrade Exchange.
Fisco is a financial services provider in Japan that deals in equity, foreign exchange, bonds, and commodities markets. It acquired Government registered Zaif Exchange to enter into cryptocurrencies in 2016.
The Japanese Regulators have so far brought a total of 123 companies under its surveillance that deals in cryptocurrencies; Japan is one of the first developed countries to regulate Cryptocurrency Exchanges.  The Exchanges are required to register with the Government and comply with the rules of customer protection and legal formalities laid down by the Government.
Also Read: Japan to Launch Blockchain Payment Experiment for Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Hence, the raids carried out by the FSA were to ensure that the regulatory compliances have been followed at the two Exchanges after management changes. Furthermore, Japanese banks are the forerunners of the institutions that plan to integrate Blockchain and cryptocurrency in the current financial system.
Do you think that the raids call for an ominous tiding or it was just a routine check? Please share relevant details with us.  
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Source: CoinGape

Tron Foundation guarantees complete cooperation with Japanese regulatory authorities

Tron [TRX], the eleventh largest cryptocurrency by market cap, continues to be in the limelight of the cryptocurrency space. On 31 March, the Tron Foundation made an announcement regarding Tron DApp promotion in the Japanese market, via an official blog post.
The Foundation stated that Tron was “now one of the biggest” blockchain-based dApps platform, with a “large number” of developers building and advertising dApps on the platform. It further stated,

“TRON has been striving to promote blockchain technology and diversify DAPPs on its platform while adhering to local laws and regulations across the globe.”

The exchange then clarified aspects pertaining to Research and Development and the promotion of Tron’s developer applications in Japan. With regard to the same, the Foundation focused on five important pointers and stated that they were strictly abiding by the rules and regulations put in place by the Japanese regulatory body.
The Foundation also stated that they neither “encourage” nor “recommend” developer applications connected to gambling in the Japanese market. Further, the Foundation added that they “suggested” all Japanese DApp developers refrain from building an application that encouraged or promoted gambling on Tron.
The blog post further read,
“TRON suggests developers who are working on gambling apps block users with Japanese IP addresses. Please do not facilitate the use of gambling apps among Japanese users”
Additionally, the Foundation would cooperate with Japanese regulatory authorities and “provide necessary support,” if any applications were found to be violating the country’s rules and regulations.
Misha Lederman, a Tron influencer said,
“Day 1: Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten to launch own #crypto in June 2019 Day 2: Japan’s largest Railway company considers accepting #Bitcoin & other cryptos Day 3: #TRON advises DApp developers to comply w/ Japan’s law regarding gambling Growth comes through cooperation”
@producerknoidea, a Twitter user said,
“Japan embraces blockchain and tron . It’s just that gambling is illegal all across Japan.. No platform or technology will be above the law that’s why it’s important to work with regulators and maybe in due time some laws can be passed to help further assist blockchain in areas”
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Source: AMB Crypto

TRON Restricts Gambling DApps Access In Japan To Comply With Law

One of the reasons Tron is respected in the crypto industry is because it respects the existing regulation and believes in working with regulators rather than competing with them. A similar approach was seen when Tron chose to comply with the promotion and R&D regulations with respect to gambling app in Japan.
Japanese regulations prohibit gambling of all forms
Tron has been one of the fastest growing dapp ecosystem challenging Ethereum and EOS. It’s not just the fastest and technologically superior but the team behind it is also smart enough. Time and again Justin Sun and has shown that they believe in working with the government and regulators and adhere to the laws of the land. The same was again witnessed when Tron released a statement where it pushed developers to remove gambling DApps in the Japanese market to comply with local regulations.
According to the statement released by Tron on its official Medium channel,
The company intends to adhere to local laws and regulations in the countries it works in and hence it has decided to support gambling restrictions for Japan-based users through a series of recommendations for developers, as gambling is generally prohibited by the Japanese criminal code.
While Tron states that it has been striving to promote blockchain technology and diversify DApps on its platform it believes that complying with the laws of the land for any country around the globe is necessary.  To quote from the medium post
“TRON suggests developers who are working on gambling apps block users with Japanese IP addresses. Please do not facilitate the use of gambling apps among Japanese users; TRON will collaborate with the Japanese government and provide necessary support if any TRON DApps violate Japanese laws and regulations.”
Japanese regulations are pretty stringent for gambling. Gambling in Japan is generally banned by the Criminal Code chapter 23 however, there are several exceptions, including betting on horse racing and certain motorsports
Article 185 that addresses crimes related to gambling says
A person who gambles shall be punished by a fine of not more than 500,000 yen or a petty fine; provided, however, that the same shall not apply to a person who bets a thing which is provided for momentary entertainment while
Article 186 that address crimes related to (Habitual Gambling; Running a Gambling Place for the Purpose of Gain states
(1) A person who habitually gambles shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not more than 3 years.
(2) A person who, for the purpose of profit, runs a place for gambling or organizes a group of habitual gamblers shall be punished by imprisonment with work for not less than 3 months but not more than 5 years.
The strategy used by Tron to comply with the regulation clearly shows that the team wants to grow in the most ethical and complied manner in whichever country it operates.
What is your view on these guidelines and country-specific strategies that Tron is operating? Do let us know your views on the same.
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Source: CoinGape

Japan gets in the ring with margin trading exchanges

Japan, one of the countries at the forefront of cryptocurrency regulation, took another step towards regulation. The regulation in question was passed on to all crypto exchanges providing margin trading services to its customers.
According to a local news portal, Nikkei, “Japanese financial authorities will expand on already pioneering rules for cryptocurrency trading to bring further order to one of the world’s biggest virtual currency marketplaces.”
The report further stated that Japan’s cabinet gave a green light to a draft amendment for the Financial Instruments and Payment Services Law, on Friday. This amendment will not allow cryptocurrency exchanges to provide leverage of up to 2 to 4 times on initial cap and will come into effect from April 2020 onwards.
Simply put, margin trading is a trading service that enables users to participate in cryptocurrency trading activities with borrowed money/leverage. Here, lenders will lend their coins to traders in exchange for some interest on the borrowed cryptocurrency.
Further, in a practice similar to that of foreign exchange trading, all the exchanges involved in leveraging will be required to re-register with the regulatory authorities of Japan, including top brokerage firms. This action would not only allow financial bodies to take anti-money laundering measures but would also ensure investor protection.
The 18-month timeframe for the implementation of the new rules also present an opportunity to the Financial Services Agency, the regulatory body of Japan, to crack down on unregistered cryptocurrency exchanges, reported Nikkei. Additionally, virtual currency operators would be divided into categories, including exchanges involved in margin trading and exchanges involved in initial coin offerings.
This marks a significant development as previous reports suggested that the total cryptocurrency margin trading in Japan was much more than cash transactions. The sum of cash transactions in Japan, towards the end of December, was around 777.4 billion JPY, according to Japan Virtual Currency Exchange. The sum of margin trading was noted to be 8.42 trillion JPY, around $75.6 billion, almost 11 times more than that of cash transactions.
The post Japan gets in the ring with margin trading exchanges appeared first on AMBCrypto.
Source: AMB Crypto

From Retailers to Major Banks, How the Crypto Sector of Japan is Exponentially Growing

In a recent development in Japan’s crypto industry, Mizuho Financial Group announced that it would launch its digital currency on March 1.
According to Nikkei Asian Review, the 1.8-trillion megabank’s digital currency service would allow users to exchange their yens for a cryptocurrency called J-Coin through an app of the same name. The experience will be similar to other payment applications: users would scan a QR code through the app and transfer money to the intended receivers.

#Mizuho's digital currency to take on payment rivals next month #crypto
— Tonyx (@TonyXhufi) February 23, 2019

At the same time, the best thing J-Coin app would offer will be a ‘zero transaction fee’ structure. Merchants will not be required to pay a transaction fee when transferring money from J-Coin wallet to their bank accounts. In comparison, traditional payment apps charge 3-to-5% processing fee on each transaction. That is where J-Coin’s crypto innovation is proving useful for users.
Credit Goes to Friendly Crypto Regulations
Mizuho’s move follows years of regulatory development inside the Japanese cryptocurrency industry. Three years after the Mt. Gox incident, the country brought cryptocurrencies like bitcoin under their Payment Service Act, giving them the status of money. It subsequently offered clear tax guidelines for crypto investors. In contrast, western countries were slower than Japan while developing a robust legal framework for cryptocurrencies.
Japanese regulator Financial Services Agency (FSA) also granted crypto industry to form an independent self-regulatory body to formulate rules and regulations. Dubbed as the Japanese Virtual Currency Association, the body enabled the crypto industry to remain flexible and adhere to Japanese laws without trampling innovation surrounding crypto assets.
Such initiatives enabled the FSA to study various aspects of the cryptocurrency industry deeply. The agency is now seeking to force ICOs into registrations before they raise funds – much like their counterparts in the US and Europe. It is also imposing strong KYC/AML compliance, in addition to limiting the amount of leveraged trading and enforcing advertising restrictions.
The reformist moves allowed the Japanese crypto industry to flourish amidst minimum risks. FSA recognized that over 200 companies were seeking regulatory approval at the end of 2018. Coinbase, a US-based crypto exchange, is awaiting approval from the FSA to operate within Japan. Huobi, another crypto exchanged, purchased a Japanese company to expand its operations in the region. In a similar move, Yahoo Japan acquired BitARG crypto exchange to launch its crypto services in Japan.
Merchant Adoption
Japan’s service industry also explored cryptocurrencies in the wake of friendly regulations. Bic Camera, the region’s biggest electronics retailer, announced in June 2018 that it would accept bitcoins as payments.

Rakuten, Japan’s biggest e-commerce store, not only planned to integrate a crypto payment option but also announced that it would acquire a local bitcoin exchange for $2.4 million.

Spot on, Japan is moving fast in crypto.
– Japan's biggest electronics retailer Bic Camera accepts Bitcoin– Japan's biggest e-commerce giant Rakuten has a Bitcoin exchange + plans to integrate crypto– Big banks like Mizuho / SBI are committed to the cryptocurrency sector
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) February 25, 2019

Regardless of being primarily a cash-based nation, Japan is looking to jump two-steps ahead of other countries: a direct switch from cash to digital currency. The entrance of larger institutions like Mizuho certainly validates the potential demand for cryptocurrencies in the region. It would make Japan a frontrunner in crypto adoption as far as 2019 is concerned.
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Source: New

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 ‘’ by an unidentified party shares the screenshot of ‘transaction data’ captured from BitPoint exchange. The data on (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.
— 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.
The post Bitcoin [BTC]: Liquid-Bitcoin can now be traded with Japanese Yen pegged stable coins privately on Liquid Network appeared first on AMBCrypto.
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.
The post Japan Explores Bitcoin ETF but Demand for Product is Mysterious appeared first on NewsBTC.
Source: New