The Japanese financial regulatory body is contemplating an expansion of its team focused on cryptocurrency and related activities. Observing the growing interest of Japanese companies in establishing a digital currency exchange, The Financial Services Agency (FSA) is set to bring more breadth to its team in 2019, per a Reuters report dated September 12, 2018.
Anticipating Crypto Industry Expansion in 2019
At the fifth study group meeting on cryptocurrency hosted by the FSA, Kiyotaka Sasaki, vice commissioner for policy coordination at the FSA, stated that the premier financial watchdog currently has 30 people responsible for the complete supervision of crypto-related activities, including license registration reviews.
The group meeting was attended by the officials from trading platforms, lawyers, scholars, and government officials. According to the Reuters Japan report, the FSA is planning to add 12 more individuals for the year 2019, a response to the rapidly growing exchange industry in the land of the rising sun.
Sasaki revealed in the report that the objective of such an expansion is to “strengthen the response to virtual currency exchange operators.”
Per an official document published after the meeting, the FSA has been reviewing 16 applications seeking to apply for a crypto exchange license. Of the 16 applicants, 12 have already withdrawn their applications when instructed by the regulator, while the FSA rejected one more.
Busy Year for the FSA
Currently, the remaining three applicants, including Coincheck, await review by the financial overseer. The document also states that the total assets held by domestic crypto exchanges have shot up by more than 553 percent over the past year, currently valued at $6.2 billion.
It’s worth pointing out that it’s not only the government agencies that are facing a lack of staff in the cryptosphere as “many exchanges are managing large amounts of user assets with a small team (3.3 billion yen [around $30 million] per employee on average),” said the FSA.
BTCManager reported on May 8, 2018, about the FSA’s decision to establish a new crypto regulatory paradigm in the country to govern the increasing number of cryptocurrency exchanges.
Similarly, on account of rampant speculative crypto trading in the country, Japan’s FSA recently introduced new cryptocurrency regulations. This move was also initiated to suppress the increasing instances of fraud and malicious attacks on crypto exchanges.