Japan’s Finance Watchdog to Inspect 15 Unlicensed Crypto Exchanges

The Japanese government said today that inspections will take place at 15 unlicensed cryptocurrency exchanges in light of a recent major hack. According to the Japan Times, the country’s financial services minister Taro Aso said at a news briefing that on-site inspections will take place at the exchange providers that have filed for licenses but not yet been approved. The move comes after the Coincheck exchange lost NEM tokens worth $533 million at the time in a major breach in late January. The minister indicated the inspections will examine the…

As Bitcoin Soars, So Do Coinbase Customer Complaints

It was around midnight, January 31, when K. received an email from Coinbase containing a 1099 tax form. That was strange enough – K. certainly didn’t expect a cryptocurrency exchange to be a conduit for government documents. Then K. looked at how much Coinbase said he owed money on: $2.4 million. “I initially freaked out, considering I’ve probably put in a max of $8,000 into Coinbase and somehow I may be liable for millions?” K. said in an online chat with CoinDesk. The next business day, K. called Coinbase customer support,…

US Treasury Officials Calls for Global Crypto Regulation

The undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence called on the international community for stronger cryptocurrency regulations to help protect the financial system and national security in a speech yesterday. Citing Venezuela’s recent introduction of the “petro” cryptocurrency as an example, Sigal Mandelker told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference that rogue regimes, terrorists and others use cryptocurrencies to “exploit the financial system,” “hide their ill-gotten gains” and “finance their illicit activities.” Mandleker went on to say that there…

US Treasury Official Calls for Global Crypto Regulation

The undersecretary of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence called on the international community for stronger cryptocurrency regulations to help protect the financial system and national security in a speech yesterday. Citing Venezuela’s recent introduction of the “petro” cryptocurrency as an example, Sigal Mandelker told the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes Conference that rogue regimes, terrorists and others use cryptocurrencies to “exploit the financial system,” “hide their ill-gotten gains” and “finance their illicit activities.” Mandleker went on to say that there…

Coincheck Exchange Sees $373 Million Withdrawn in One Day

Japan’s Coincheck exchange reinstated Japanese yen withdrawals yesterday and investors are already flocking to take out their funds following the firm’s recent hack. According to a company announcement on Feb. 13, soon after Coincheck partially resumed operations on Tuesday, it had already processed 40.1 billion yen (or $373 million) in withdrawal requests from existing investors. The firm first announced the plan to reopen Japanese yen withdrawals on Feb. 9. The move comes as the Japanese exchange attempts to normalize after it reported a loss of some $500 million-worth of NEM tokens…

Korean Government Firm on Crypto KYC Mandate in Petition Response

South Korea has doubled down on its commitment to eliminating the use of cryptocurrency in illicit financial activities, while expressed a will to foster the country’s blockchain development. In a video published today, Hong Nam-ki, head of the office for government policy coordination, said the government is taking a strong stance in bringing transparency to domestic cryptocurrency exchanges. Hong’s response comes as the government’s formal response to a petition opposing a severe clampdown on South Korea’s cryptocurrency trading platforms. According to the South Korean president’s website, the petition has gathered over…

Coinbase Cuts Off New Credit Cards for US Customers

Cryptocurrency startup Coinbase said Tuesday that its U.S.-based users won’t be able to add new credit cards as a payment option. Making the announcement through its official blog post on Feb. 13, Coinbase said the platform currently is unable to offer a smooth credit card purchase experience. As a result, it has “disabled adding new credit cards as a payment method for U.S. customers.” The move is seen as a follow-up to the platform’s previous confirmation that credit cards issued by four U.S. banks are barred from being used to…

Canadian Securities Exchange Taps Blockchain for New Clearinghouse

The Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) plans to launch a blockchain-based clearing and settlement platform for token sales, it announced today. The initiative will see the CSE move to list so-called “Security Token Offerings,” through which blockchain-based assets which are explicitly securities would be offered and sold. The blockchain-powered platform represents a new service area for the exchange, which has been operating since 2003. Companies will be able to use the platform to issue traditional equity and debt through tokenized securities, which would then be offered to investors through fully regulated…

South Korea Mulls BitLicense-Style Rules for Crypto Exchanges

South Korea is reportedly considering a technology-specific licensing scheme as part of it proposed regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges. According to BusinessKorea, a government official involved with a virtual currency task force said Sunday that such rules, which bear a similarity to New York’s controversial “BitLicense,” introduced in 2015, could be enacted or at least debated. The source said: “We are positively considering the adoption of an exchange approval system as the additional regulation on cryptocurrencies. We are most likely benchmark the model of the State of New York that gives a selective…

China’s State Media Takes Aim at Crypto Trading, ICOs

China’s state-own news agency appears to be stepping up its rhetoric on over-the-counter (OTC), crypto-to-crypto trading and overseas initial coin offerings (ICOs) that still remain active in the country, calling them an attempt to bypass existing regulation. In a news report published Feb. 12, the Xinhua News Agency, detailed how purchasing cryptocurrency assets through OTC channel is easily available by having reporters register on exchanges such as Huobi Pro and buy bitcoin using accessible payment tools like AliPay. As reported previously, following the ban on ICO and closure of order book trading…