Japan's Financial Watchdog Orders AML Shake-Up at 6 Crypto Exchanges

Japan's Financial Services Agency has issued business improvement orders to six licensed crypto exchanges operating in the country.

Jun 22, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. UTC

Japan's financial watchdog has issued business improvement orders to six licensed cryptocurrency exchanges following on-site inspections conducted over recent months.

According to an announcement made by the Financial Services Agency (FSA) on Friday, the regulator is ordering bitFlyer, QUOINE, BTC Box, Bit Bank, Tech Bureau and Bit Point to enhance their internal-auditing and user-protection systems.

As a result, bitFlyer has announced that it has temporarily stopped accepting new customers in order to reexamine the IDs of "certain customers."

The firm told CoinDesk that "bitFlyer (Japan) is working closely with the FSA and will resume onboarding as soon as possible."

The exchange has also provided a substantial list of coming improvements to various systems, including user protection, data protection, risk management, new token listing and more, based on the order.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the FSA launched inspections at licensed platforms in April as part of its increasing scrutiny of domestic exchanges following the $530 million hack on Coincheck earlier this year.

Today's news confirms suggestions last week that the agency would move to force some exchanges to enhance their anti-money laundering procedures, but, going by the bitFlyer notice, the demands are more wide-ranging.

As a result of the orders, the six exchanges are now required to file a written report to the FSA on the progress of their system improvements by July 23. Until they are able to meet the regulator's full requirements, the FSA said the exchanges must continue filling additional reports by the 10th of every month.

FSA image via Shutterstock

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