Japan edging towards Payment Licensing for Virtual Currency Exchanges

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Bitlegal reached out to FSA to discuss pending regulations of Virtual Currency (VC) exchanges.

On 4 March 2016 a Bill was introduced to Diet (parliament) to regulate convertible Virtual Currency (VC) exchanges.

The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Payment Services Act to include VC as a type of payment instrument.

Amendments include:

  • Requirement for registration of VC exchanges.
  • According to one source the imposition of consumer protection requirements, however, might be standard requirements for Payment Institutions in Japan.
  • AML compliance will become mandatory.

Once law comes into effect, there is a grace period for existing VC exchanges who will need to seek registration within 6 months after the law comes into effect.

This licensing requirement is based on the provision of services to Japanese Residents. So this will affect service providers outside of Japan targeting the Japanese market.