New FSA Chief Rules Out 'Excessive' Regulation of Japan's Crypto Exchanges
The newly appointed chief of Japan's top financial regulator has stated his belief that there is no need for "excessive" regulation of the country's cryptocurrency industry.
Speaking to Reuters on Wednesday, Toshihide Endo, commissioner of the Financial Services Agency (FSA), said his agency is trying to regulate
cryptocurrency exchanges in a way that protects consumers and yet doesn't stifle innovation.
He told the news source:
"We have no intention to curb [the cryptocurrency industry] excessively We would like to see it grow under appropriate regulation."
Endo's comments echo statements previously made by representatives of the FSA. In September of last year, an unnamed executive of the regulator was quoted by The Japan Times as saying, "We pursue both market fostering and regulation enforcement. ... We aim for sound market development."
That comment came even as the FSA moved to more closely scrutinize exchanges to ensure they adhered to a revised payment services law, passed in April 2017, defining operational standards for exchanges and setting up a licensing scheme. In a world first, the amended law also recognized bitcoin as a form of legal tender.
In January of this year, a $530 million hack of the country's Coincheck
exchange prompted the FSA to more closely scrutinize exchanges, launching inspections and issuing "business improvement orders" for those that were deemed to have inadequate systems in place.
Endo was appointed commissioner of the FSA in July, having previously been director-general of the agency's supervisory bureau.