Japan’s registered cryptocurrency exchanges have joined forces to form a new self-regulatory body, industry website has reported, citing Japanese media outlet Asahi Shimbun.
According to the publication, the 16 exchanges registered with the country’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), yesterday announced the launch of the Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association, a new organisation aiming to restore confidence in the local digital currency sector. The body will be chaired by Taizen Okuyama, president and chief executive officer of Money Partners, a publicly traded forex firm that also has cryptocurrency operations.
During its first meeting on Monday, the group said that it would seek to develop comprehensive rules regarding customer protection and internal controls. Members of the association will be required to comply with these rules, as the group also intends to introduce penalties, in order to punish activities that undermine the integrity of the industry.
"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 initial plans for the launch of the organisation were revealed in early March, when the Nikkei Asian Review reported that the 16 exchanges had agreed to launch a new body to work with the FSA on establishing investor safety standards.
The move is a response to the increased regulatory scrutiny that followed the January hack of the Coincheck exchange, which resulted in the theft of around $500 million worth of NEM tokens. Since then, the watchdog has conducted thorough probe into the crypto trading businesses operating in the country and issued a wave of punitive measures against exchanges whose performance was deemed unsatisfactory.
Yesterday, Okuyama also said that the group would aim to offer help and advice on the development of the crypto exchanges that still operate without a full licence from the FSA.