Japan’s new Financial Services Agency commissioner, Toshihide Endo, signaled this week that his agency does not intend to place burdensome regulations on the cryptocurrency industry. In an interview with Reuters, Endo suggested that the FSA is focused on enabling continued innovation in the crypto space, while providing greater protections for consumers.
“We have no intention to curb (the crypto industry) excessively. We would like to see it grow under appropriate regulation.”
Endo’s assurances are likely to be welcomed by Japan’s cryptocurrency industry, as they may be seen as further evidence of a welcoming attitude toward the emerging technology. That commitment to a balanced approach to regulation could also help quell some of the uncertainty that has plagued the industry in recent months.
Japan’s government drew praise from crypto fans in early 2017 when it legally recognized Bitcoin as a payment method. Since that time, the country has been proactive in adopting a regulatory framework for the industry, developing a registration and compliance system for Japan’s domestic cryptocurrency exchanges.
In recent months, however, the FSA’s attitude had seemed to be less accommodating – particularly in the wake of the January Coincheck heist that saw $530 million in digital currency disappear from that exchange.
Subsequent agency inspections of Japan’s cryptocurrency exchanges led to temporary closures and allegations of inadequate internal controls and customer protections.