Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Downplays Cryptocurrency Plans

Masayoshi Amamiya, Bank of Japan’s Deputy Governor, stated on Saturday that it was unclear whether digital currencies could enhance the monetary policies of central banks.  He elaborated that the Bank of Japan had no plans whatsoever to issue a cryptocurrency. Ongoing Debate Mr. Amamiya said that there was “quite a hurdle” for cryptocurrencies to overcome

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Japanese Government to Simplify Cryptocurrency Taxation Process

A committee of tax experts in Japan that is responsible for advising the government on taxation matters has called for the simplification of the country’s cryptocurrency tax filing process. According to officials of the tax panel, the process is currently complicated and a change is required in order to enhance accuracy and compliance. Per a … Continued

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Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to Fisco

Japanese crypto exchange Zaif has concluded a business transfer agreement with another regulated crypto exchange in Japan. Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange will take over all of Zaif’s services and will be responsible for repaying users who lost their coins when Zaif was hacked last month.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Business Transfer Agreement

Tech Bureau, the operator of Zaif, has signed an agreement to transfer Zaif’s business to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE), the company announced Wednesday.

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoZaif claims that it was hacked on Sept. 14, with approximately 7 billion yen ($62 million) stolen. On Sept. 20, Fisco Co. Ltd., the parent company of Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange, announced a plan to provide 5 billion yen to help Tech Bureau compensate its affected users in exchange for the majority of the company’s shares. Fisco and Tech Bureau have since been working on a business transfer agreement with a tentative transfer date of Nov. 22.

“While the details of specific measures addressing damages to Zaif users are under consideration, a formal business transfer agreement for the Zaif business to FCCE was concluded,” Fisco wrote, adding:

It has been decided that all of Zaif’s services will be passed to FCCE including handled cryptocurrency, exchanges, vendors, credit transactions and Bitcoin Airfx [derivatives trading]. FCCE will also carry out the return of cryptocurrency that Zaif users lost in the outflow during the hacking incident, etc. (including debt for payment in kind for reasonable amounts of money).

Japan currently has 16 regulated crypto exchanges. Both Zaif and Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange were licensed by the country’s Financial Services Agency in September last year. In August 2017, Fisco announced the launch of “Japan’s first bitcoin-denominated bonds.”

Fisco’s Long-Term Agreement With Tech Bureau

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoThe two companies have been working together since 2016. When Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange began operations in August 2016, it licensed the use of Tech Bureau’s white label system to provide liquidity to the new exchange.

Two days prior to the hack, on Sept. 12, Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange reviewed its system in order to stop using Tech Bureau’s white label system and start using its new trading system provided by Ccct Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Caica Inc.

Plan to Compensate Zaif’s Users

After discovering the security breach on Sept. 17, Zaif immediately suspended several services, including deposit, withdrawal, and merchant payment. The exchange claims that 5,966 BTC, 42,327 BCH, and 6,236,810 MONA were stolen.

Japanese Exchange Takeover: Zaif Transfers All Crypto Services to FiscoAccording to Wednesday’s announcement, Zaif has resumed some services for BTC and BCH, including “transactions, buying and selling through simple transactions and savings.” Tech Bureau clarified that deposit and withdrawal services “are scheduled to resume after operations have been assumed by Fisco Cryptocurrency, with the specific resumption date to be announced at a later date.”

For MONA, “compensation will be made in Japanese yen to the equivalent value” of the amount held by each user at the rate of 144.548 yen per coin, Tech Bureau detailed. At the time of this writing, MONA is trading at 148.4 yen on Zaif.

What do you think of Zaif transferring all crypto services to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Zaif, and Fisco Co. Ltd.


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Singapore Hosts New Fiat-Crypto Exchange, Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts

Singapore Cautiously Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts, Fiat-Crypto Exchange

It has been a busy week for Singapore as it relates to cryptocurrency. The city-state is set open the first fiat-crypto exchange in Southeast Asia, while the financial regulator has vowed to help crypto companies set up local bank accounts, according to media reports. 

Also read: Salt to Offer Crypto-Backed Loans in 7 Global Markets, 15 More US States

Strong Response to
Eurekapro’s Beta Launch

More than 8,000 people signed up for the open public beta launch of Eurekapro’s new fiat-crypto exchange, Finews.asia has reported. “A Singapore-based exchange will allow for easy fiat-to-crypto trading and aims to make digital currency more easily accessible to businesses and consumers,” the news site said.

Singapore Cautiously Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts, Fiat-Crypto Exchange

Eurekapro offers its own native token, EKT, and claims it provides the most extensive fiat-to-crypto support in Asia. With its new Singapore exchange, the company — which was previously known as Overswitch and based out of Sweden — will allow users to conduct transactions with a number of regional fiat currencies, including the Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah.

MAS Cautiously Embraces Crypto

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will start helping crypto firms to set up local bank accounts, Bloomberg has reported, citing MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon. Although Asia is home to a growing middle class that is keen to experiment with cryptocurrencies, Singapore is looking to contrast its embrace of crypto against that of other countries across the continent. For example, MAS does not plan to require licenses for crypto exchanges, as the Japanese authorities do.

Singapore Cautiously Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts, Fiat-Crypto Exchange
MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon

Japan has emerged as the gold standard for crypto in Asia, and really around the world, as it has largely taken a live-and-let-live approach. But in Singapore, MAS plans to place different crypto businesses into categories. “Utility tokens,” the first of these categories, refers to the use of blockchain technology to facilitate payments for things such as computing services. Menon said that barely any regulation will be required for such activities.

The second distinction that MAS will draw for the crypto industry relates to digital tokens that resemble securities. Such cryptocurrencies will fall under the oversight of Singapore’s Securities and Futures Act. In reality, Menon acknowledged that there have not been many local initial coin offerings that could be classified under this category thus far. But those that do will be subject to the relevant legislation. MAS has even said that it will not consider many such examples to be viable business models. “Most of them are careful to steer clear of that line,” Menon said.

Lack of Regulatory Clarity

While the Singapore authorities have overtly tried to encourage the growth of financial technology businesses, crypto companies have found that a lack of regulatory clarity has thus far held back their expansion. Part of the problem is that crypto firms have struggled to get local bank accounts; in some cases, the banks have ended up closing accounts that such companies have managed to open.

Singapore Cautiously Welcomes Crypto Bank Accounts, Fiat-Crypto Exchange

Yet Menon acknowledged that the crypto business is different from the fintech space in many ways, noting that the reluctance of local banks to get involved is understandable, due to the arguably “opaque” practices of some crypto companies. He said that the regulator’s primary concern involves discouraging money laundering and protecting the interests of consumers. But he also noted that there are ultimately limits to the regulatory reach of the MAS.

Do you believe Singapore will eventually accommodate crypto businesses to the same degree as Japan? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Eureakapro


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Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Unveils Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA Plans Stablecoin

In recent news pertaining to crypto exchanges, Yobit has announced a “random coin” pump for Oct. 11, the founder of Okgroup has announced Okcoin USA’s plan to launch a stablecoin, and Coinbase’s chief policy officer has predicted that the exchange will attain Japanese regulatory approval by 2019.

Also Read: A Bitcoin Rat Is Occupying Wall Street

Skepticism on Twitter over
Aggressive Yobit Campaign

Yobit, the shadowy Russian cryptocurrency exchange, has announced an upcoming “Yobit Pump” scheduled for 9 a.m. EDT on Oct. 11. According to Yobit’s Twitter, the pump will see Yobit purchase one random coin for 1 BTC every one to two minutes, 10 times.

The comments section beneath the tweet shows a predominantly critical reaction to an aggressive promotional campaign premeditated by an exchange that’s already mired in controversy. Last year, Forbes Ukraine reported that Roskomnadzor, the Russian telecommunications regulator, had launched juridical proceedings against Yobit, with Roskomnadzor seeking to block Russian IP addresses from accessing the exchange.

In 2016, Waves also published a warning pertaining to Yobit after the exchange listed a waves/BTC pairing, even though users were unable to withdraw the cryptocurrency from private Waves wallets at the time.

Okgroup Founder Vows Full Compliance
with Planned Stablecoin

Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA StablecoinStar Xu, the founder of Okgroup, has announced that Okcoin USA is planning on entering the stablecoin market.

In a recent tweet, Mr. Xu posted: “Embracing the tide of technology, the launch of a #CNY backed #stablecoin is an inevitable trend, and it will significantly improve the internationalization of the RMB. OKCoin USA will launch a fully compliant stablecoin.” Xu added that “the dollar-pegged #stablecoin regulated by the U.S. government will strengthen the penetration of the U.S. dollar 100 fold.”

Xu also spoke in favor of stablecoins, stating: “Stablecoins are in essence electronic cash. They have the same attributes. The central bank issues the currency and then it is distributed peer-to-peer. The difference is it’s electronic. Today, the amount of cash in China’s domestic monetary system is not small.”

Coinbase Executive Optimistic About Securing Regulatory Approval in Japan

Exchanges Roundup: Yobit Random Coin Pump, Okcoin USA StablecoinIn a recent interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Mike Lempres, the chief policy officer of Coinbase, optimistically discussed the exchange’s desire to obtain regulatory approval to operate in Japan.

Lempres stated that talks are “going well” with Japan’s Financial Services Authority, adding: “We are … committed to getting it done. It will certainly be in 2019.”

Lempres also spoke favorably of the Japanese regulatory system relating to cryptocurrencies. “The Japanese government is more focused on security,” he explained. “That is good for us … Japan has been an active large market from the very beginning, and has proved resilient as it bounces back from several bad experiences. We think there is great demand for a trusted provider of services here.”

Despite his praise for Japan’s crypto regulations, Lempres noted that there are still several issues to be resolved, including whether or not the regulator would require Coinbase to manage its systems from within Japan in order to obtain a license. “We have everything built to protect our storage … in the U.S,” he stated. “We won’t do anything to even raise (the) possibility of a hack. It would be hard for us to duplicate what we do in the U.S. today in Japan and other countries.”

What is your response to Yobit’s random coin pump? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Twitter


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Japanese Technology Conglomerate GMO to Unveil Yen-Pegged Crypto Stablecoin

Zaif CryptocurrencyJapanese internet giant GMO Internet has announced that it will launch a stablecoin pegged to the yen next year. According to the founder and president of GMO Internet, Masatoshi Kumagaii, the stablecoin which will be known as GMO Japanese Yen (GJY) will be issued in Asia. It is expected that the assets backing the stablecoin

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Japanese Internet Giant GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged Cryptocurrency

Japanese Internet Giant GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged Cryptocurrency

Japan’s GMO Internet Group has announced plans to issue a yen-pegged stablecoin called GMO Japanese Yen. Already in the crypto exchange and mining hardware businesses, the company plans to launch its third crypto enterprise with this stablecoin.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Yen-Pegged Stablecoin

Japanese Internet Giant GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged CryptocurrencyGMO Internet Group announced Tuesday that it “will start full-scale preparations to issue stable coins of virtual currency, with an eye to enter into the ‘settlement’ area of virtual currency business.” The company detailed:

‘GMO Japanese Yen (ticker symbol: GJY)’ [will be launched] through the unified brand (global brand) ‘Z.com’ in the overseas strategy of the GMO Internet Group. [It will be a] ‘yen-pegged currency’ linked with the Japanese yen.

Noting that there are already 57 stablecoins in the world, 23 of which are already in circulation, GMO disclosed that “We plan to start issuing [the stablecoin] for the Asian region around the fiscal year 2019.”

Third Crypto Business

Currently, GMO has two businesses in the crypto space: the exchange business which started in May last year and the mining business which started in December. In its earnings presentation published in August, the company outlined another crypto business area it seeks to enter called “cryptocurrency payment.”

In Tuesday’s stablecoin announcement, GMO revealed that it has been “investigating and researching whether the virtual currency could be the settlement currency from the viewpoint of volatility.”

Japanese Internet Giant GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged Cryptocurrency
GMO’s crypto businesses. Source: GMO Internet Group

GMO’s Hope for Its Stablecoin

Japanese Internet Giant GMO to Launch Yen-Pegged CryptocurrencyAccording to GMO, in order to solve the hyperinflation problem seen in many developing countries, “issues such as true non-centralization need to be overcome.” The firm asserted that stablecoins can be a solution to this problem “as a currency to replace low-credit domestic currencies.” The firm also believes that even in developed countries, stablecoins have “a potential to become a global standard innovative financial infrastructure.”

Referring to its yen-pegged crypto, GMO described:

One of the tasks is to stabilize price fluctuation (volatility), which is a risk to remittance and settlement, in order to increase the spreading and development of the virtual currency.

What do you think of GMO issuing a yen-pegged stablecoin? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet Group.


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Zaif Delays Customer Compensation Plan after $60 Million Crypto Theft

Tech Bureau, operator of Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif, is yet to reveal a compensation strategy for customers who suffered losses from an infamous $60 million theft three weeks ago. Osaka-based Tech Bureau has already halted new user registrations to focus on reimbursing customers who collectively lost ¥4.5 billion ($40 million) from the ¥6.7 billion ($60

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