The Japanese government is gearing up to regulate bitcoin activity more actively in the wake of the collapse of bitcoin exchange Mt Gox.
Nikkei reported earlier today that members of a select panel within the country's Financial Services Agency – its top finance regulator – are looking to draft a regulatory framework for bitcoin-related businesses.
The government has indicated in the past that it intends to seek greater oversight over bitcoin businesses in response to the bankruptcy of Mt Gox. CEO Mark Karpeles has faced multiple arrests this year, bringing new attention to the 2014 collapse of the Japan-based company.
"Japan needs an adequate oversight mechanism for virtual currencies, including ways to confirm identities and block money laundering, Financial Services Agency panel members agreed in a meeting Monday," the service reported.
The Financial System Council reportedly discussed registering bitcoin exchanges and adopting measures related to consumer protection.
According to the report, those at the meeting expressed openness to working with the industry and "invited operators of virtual currency exchanges to share their knowledge and regulatory ideas".
Reports that the Japanese government was moving to police bitcoin activities – while simultaneously exploring blockchain concepts more broadly – emerged earlier this year. At the time, Finance Minister Taro Aso said that the government needed to "carry out studies" to inform the steps it would take.
The FSA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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