BitFlyer Delays Withdrawals As They Scan For Yakuza Customers
As much as $1.1 bln has been stolen in cryptocurrency crimes in the last six months The anonymous nature and online functionality of digital currencies makes them very appealing to hackers and thieves.
In Japan, the regulators have stepped in, in a big way. Exchanges are under big scrutiny to try and stop criminals from benefiting from what cryptocurrency can offer them, especially when it comes to the likes of the Yakuza. Even BitFlyer received business improvement orders from the Japanese financial watchdog in June as a result of insufficient measures against money laundering.
Bitflyer has delayed resuming business as it is thoroughly verifying its clients’ identities. Bitflyer also has stopped taking new customers last month, and this might go on for a while due to a lack of manpower.
Yakuza, also known as gokudō, are members of transnationally organized crime syndicates originating in Japan. The Japanese police, and media by request of the police, call them bōryokudan violent groups), while the yakuza call themselves “ninkyō dantai” (chivalrous organizations). The yakuza are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and their organized fiefdom-nature. They have a large presence in the Japanese media and operate internationally with an estimated 102,000 members.
Last May, it was revealed that some divisions of Japan’s organized crime syndicates, also commonly known as the yakuza, were using crypto exchanges to launder money. The Japanese mafia allegedly transferred more than $270 million of their funds overseas, according to the Mainichi.
Along with this decision, bitFlyer also agreed to stop accepting new customers. This decision could be prolonged indefinitely due to the limited workforce of the Exchange. An official statement by FSA is expected to explain how important the Yakuza’s participation in the Japanese market could be.