Investors Slow Enquiries About Cryptocurrencies in Japan, According to Financial Services Agency (FSA)
Japan has been fairly welcoming to the cryptocurrency community, but it looks like questions about crypto as a whole from investors are slowing down. The Japanese Financial Services Industry published a report on November 16th, showing the enquiries for the third quarter of this year. In their report, these numbers have gone from 1,602 to 1,231.
According to the regulator, there were 418 cases that qualified as general questions, and 398 cases concerning the results of various contracts and transactions. The rest of the cases were not noted in the published document.
It seems that the interest in cryptocurrency has been readily declining through 2018, based on information provided by the FSA. Finance Feeds, a news outlet for Fintech, even commented that there was a boost in enquiries at the beginning of 2018, amounting to 3,559 requests.
The two major cryptocurrency hacks that happened last year could have something to do with the issues. In January, Coincheck lost 523 million in NEM, amounting to approximately $534 million at the time. Months later in September, hackers went after the Zaif cryptocurrency exchange to steal $59 million.
After the September attack, the Japanese Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) decided to make their rules stricter. The self-regulatory body, which is a group of the 16 exchanges that are licensed to function in Japan, decided to create a limit on the number of digital currencies that investors have the option of managing online. The restriction appears to be for any exchange.
Later, in October, the FSA assigned JVCEA the right to self-regulate, adding that their role was to create rules in favor of protecting assets for customers. They were also instructed to create rules on anti-money-laundering (AML) and provide specific guidelines to the functioning of cryptocurrency exchanges.