A group of licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan is looking to restore market confidence by adopting self-imposed rules.
According to the Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun Tuesday, 16 exchanges that are currently registered with Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) have formally launched a new self-regulatory organization dubbed the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association.
Taizen Okuyama, president and CEO of Money Partners, a publicly traded foreign exchange firm that has also entered the cryptocurrency space, is to serve as chairman of the group.
Alongside 15 other participants, including bitFlyer, SBI Virtual Currency and GMO Coin, Okuyama announced the formal launch during the group's first meeting on Monday, the report says.
By uniting all licensed exchanges in the country, the association said it will make efforts to develop comprehensive rules regarding customer protection and internal controls, and will seek compliance from member companies. In addition, penalties will be imposed by the group to punish activities that undermine the integrity of the industry, the report indicates.
"I will make sure that security measures and internal control are in place," Okuyama was quoted as saying. "We want to eliminate customers' concerns and work to restore public confidence in order to develop a healthy market."
The news comes as exchanges in Japan more widely are taking steps to restore public confidence in the industry following a hack in January that exploited some $500 million-worth of NEM tokens from the Coincheck exchange.
The planned to found the group was first announced in March as a response to the FSA's increasing regulatory activities, including on-site inspections to gauge exchanges' security measures.
Speaking of the current situation where over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan still operate without a full license from the FSA, Okuyama said the new group will also aim to offer help and advice on the development of these entities.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.