On 22nd June, bitFlyer suspended its new account registrations. Local analysts state that the exchange reacted speedily to the authorities’ demands. A previous report released by the Mainichi Shimbun stated that Yakuza, which is the country’s biggest crime syndicate claimed that millions of dollars were being laundered through major cryptocurrency exchanges.
BitFlyer is a Japanese Bitcoin exchange and marketplace that allows buying and selling of bitcoins. Established in 2014, it has its headquarters in Tokyo. The Japanese government and local financial authorities requested cryptocurrency exchanges to improve their infrastructures. The regulators believe that bitFlyer wasn’t doing enough to stop money laundering activities and terrorist financing.
FSA (Financial Services Agency) also claims that bitFlyer provided false plans to the government last year that it will prevent ‘antisocial forces’ from using the exchange. It was only after three days that bitFlyer, the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, suspended the registration of new accounts. This move was undertaken to overhaul its Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) system. BitFlyer has decided to halt new registrations and first address the FSA’s findings.
The Japanese government and local authorities have been continuously cracking down on anonymous cryptocurrencies like Monero, Zcash, and Dash since the beginning of 2018. It has been on a crackdown on the usage of digital assets in financing black market operations such as drug trafficking and distribution.
Understanding the sensitivity of this issue and a general displeasure of the Japanese authorities towards cryptocurrency exchanges, bitFlyer responded promptly to the demands of rebuilding its infrastructure. It is expected that in the times to come, the major cryptocurrency markets of Japan, South Korea, and the US, will cooperate and work in close relations with the financial and government authorities. This will help them legitimize their working and develop a stronger faith in the cryptocurrency world.[The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or the official policy of the website. ]