HitBTC, a Hong Kong based cryptocurrency exchange, will no longer be offering its services to people in Japan. HitBTC announced that they would suspend offering their services to residents in Japan to avoid violating the Japan Payment Service Act. According to the announcement made on their website, all persons residing in countries that do not allow cryptocurrency activities will no longer access services from the exchange. Accounts held by individuals from these areas will cease to operate.
According to reports, the exchange added a new section called Service Restriction to the Legal Information page of is Terms of Service. Individuals suspected of being residents of Japan will be required to provide information on their residency within the Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures.
The law, Japanese Payment Service Act, that was effected in April allows cryptocurrency as a means of payment. However, it stipulates that any cryptocurrency exchange wishing to set their operations in the country should register with the country’s financial authorities. To date, since the implementation of the new regulations, only 16 exchanges have been granted the license of operation. According to information from the Finance Service Agency (FSA), 16 more exchanges are still under review with 8 indicating that they are withdrawing their applications. Kraken, another exchange, announced their withdrawal in April stating that it was becoming too costly to operate in the country due to the new regulations set by FSA.
Authorities in Japan have already issued warnings to exchanges operating without a license. Among those given warning include Binance. Binance received a warning letter from the agency’s CEO Changpeng Zhao. In the letter, the exchange was asked to stop their operations and apply for license or proper measures would be taken against it.
HitBTC and Kraken withdrawals from Japan will largely affect the countries cryptocurrency market. Despite the challenges, Japan still remains among the most crypto-friendly markets in the region and other parts of the world.
HitBTC is the 8th largest cryptocurrency in the world. The exchange started its operations in 2013. It has been providing services to millions of people in Japan and other parts of the world. HitBTC provides markets for more than 300 cryptocurrencies.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.