Japan Financial Watchdog FSA Adds 12 New Members to Review Crypto Exchange Licenses

In Effort to Understand Crypto Market, Japan’s FSA Adds 12 More People to Their Team

Cryptocurrency is a growing industry in Japan, and their Financial Services Agency aims to improve and increase their team that handles cryptocurrency. The FSA got together for their fifth study group meeting yesterday, where trading platforms, scholars, government officials, and lawyers to discuss cryptocurrency. The first group meeting happened in April, which was only a few short months after the Coincheck hack.

The cryptocurrency group for the FSA presently has about 30 people available for the supervision and regulations of crypto-related activities, according to Kiyotaka Sasaki, vice commissioner for policy coordination at the FSA. One of their current tasks that they have taken on it the review of new license registration applications.

In a Reuters report. Sasaki confirmed that the FSA wants to add another 12 people to the group for the fiscal year 2019. He believes that this addition will help the group to move with the expansion of the cryptocurrency industry.

After the meeting, a document was released that showed how the FSA is actually reviewing 16 cases simultaneously. As a result, over 160 firms are looking to submit their own applications, helping them to function as a registered exchange.

Out of the 16 companies that submitted applications, there were 12 companies that decided to withdraw their applications, under advisement of the regulator. Additionally, the regulator decided to reject one of the applications. As for the other three, they are presently awaiting their final decision.

In the information from the FSA, it seems that this is not the only one that is needing additional workers to support their cryptocurrency efforts. The FSA summarized,

“Many exchanges are managing large amounts of user assets with a small team (3.3 billion yen [around $30 million] per employee on average).”

So far, since allowing cryptocurrency into their hemisphere, investors have increased the amount of assets they hold by 553%, which is about $6.2 billion in holdings. The majority of these investors seem to have a team that contains fewer than 20 people. According to reports by Fortune, there were over 3.5 million people trading on the 17 domestic exchanges in Japan, as of the end of March 2018. The numbers have only grown since then.

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