BitFlyer, a Tokyo-based crypto exchange, will resume opening new domestic accounts beginning July 3 after voluntarily suspending the activity one year ago, according to a statement.
BitFlyer received an operational improvement order from the Financial Services Agency, Japan’s financial watchdog, on June 20, 2018 due to concerns raised over loosely enforced identification procedures and potential risks of money laundering. Pursuant to this order, the company stopped processing new users to bolster its identification mechanisms and know your customer protocols.
“bitFlyer Japan wholeheartedly apologizes to our customers for not having met the JFSA’s exacting standards at this time. bitFlyer Japan’s team is united in our sincerity regarding this business improvement order. The safety and security of our customers and their assets on our platform has always been and will remain our primary concern,” the company said in a statement at the time.
Additionally, at the time, users registering online were prevented from withdrawing Japanese yen or transacting with cryptocurrencies until the exchange confirmed their identity and address through the postal system. Those that passed the firm’s verification process received a letter in the mail, as is the required protocol in Japan.
The regulator raised concerns following a report from Japanese media outlet Nikkei as well as coverage by CoinDesk Japan.
According to the translated document, the company had until July 23, 2018 to submit a business improvement plan, which they completed on time. The company was also asked to develop management systems for risks such as money laundering and terrorist financing, oversee a system to control anti-social forces, and construct a privacy and record keeping system.
BitFlyer states the procedure to activate a new account may take longer than usual after reinstating the service.
Street photograph via Shutterstock