Governments around the world have been stepping up scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges in recent months amid concerns ranging from money laundering to tax evasion to fraud. Japan, one of the most active markets for cryptocurrencies globally, introduced a licensing system for the venues last year.
According to Bloomberg, an insider who has asked not be named said the Japanese securities regulator is planning to warn Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop operating in the country without a license.
However, the CEO of Binance has just tweeted that this report is false:
Nikkei showed irresponsible journalism. We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA, and have not received any mandates. It does not make sense for JFSA to tell a newspaper before telling us, while we have an active dialog going on with them.
— CZ (not giving crypto away) (@cz_binance) March 22, 2018
Once again Binance and in particular their CEO, Changpeng Zhao has promptly moved to quash rumours and false journalism.
Japan enacted a law in April 2017 that gave the FSA legal authority to regulate and license cryptocurrency exchanges. To date, 16 have received licenses, including bitFlyer Inc. and Quoine. Another 16 were given permission to operate without a license, including Coincheck Inc., which suffered a $500 million theft earlier this year.
The FSA has been stepping up scrutiny of cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country since the Coincheck theft. Last month it issued an administrative penalty against Macau-based Blockchain Laboratory Ltd. for giving seminars and providing consultation services in Japan without a license.
Binance has consistently ranked as the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume since late last year. It held the top volume rank for the past 24 hours, trading $1.8 billion, according to Coinmarketcap.com.