Two Japanese exchanges set to shut down operations

Written by: Michael Harris
March 11, 2020

Two Japan-based cryptocurrency exchanges are set to shut down their operations in the near future, according to a report by local media outlet Nikkei Asian Review.

The newspaper said yesterday that the operators of the Mr. Exchange and the Tokyo GateWay digital currency trading platforms were withdrawing their applications for registration with Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). Nikkei also said that the closure would take place after users’ funds had been withdrawn or otherwise returned.

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Mr. Exchange has recently confirmed the news in a blog post published on its website.

“While this is a regrettable result, at present we have determined that it is difficult to be in a state of readiness to be able to respond to changes in the virtual currency landscape, so we decided to withdraw the application for a virtual currency exchange business,” the company said today, as quoted by the Cointelegraph.

This news comes just a few weeks after the FSA issued a wave of punitive measures against several crypto exchanges, including month-long suspensions to FSHO and BitStation. Another five operators – Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, Bicrements, Mr. Exchange and Coincheck – were ordered to raise their standards. Nikkei subsequently reported that Bit Station, as well as BitExpress and Raimu – two operators that were not among those penalised, had withdrawn their applications for licence, meaning that they also must return funds or cryptocurrencies they hold on behalf of their customers and shut down.

Japanese crypto exchanges are required to be registered with the financial regulator in order to operate in the country. However, because some trading platforms were already existing when the law that introduced the requirement was passed, these companies were allowed to continue their operations while waiting for their registrations to be approved.