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Did Japan force Binance to halt services?

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Binance is the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume. Over the years it has made immense progress and is also one of the cleanest exchanges among the top 10 exchanges in the market. In less than 3 years’ time, Binance has made its way to the top by making some innovative decisions and a utility token (BNB) that has seen massive growth in its utility and worth.

Japan bids adieu

According to an announcement on their Japanese support website on January 15, the exchange is starting to restrict access to Japanese users. The announcement doesn’t mention any date and it just states that restrictions would be implemented gradually. Further details would be shared in a future announcement.

A part of the announcement further translates to:

 “At this stage, there are no restrictions on transactions, and all services are available as usual. If you have any questions or comments, please contact our customer support.”

Is Japan hurting the business?

Japan hasn’t been too kind to the crypto exchanges as severe restrictions are in place. Quite recently, Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has laid down plans to introduce a rule limiting the leverage in cryptocurrency margin trading to twice the deposits of traders.

According to FSA, the new regulations will go a long way in combating crypto volatility in cryptocurrency markets, which usually amount to significant financial losses.

When the new rule takes effect, cryptocurrency exchange operators are expected to be pressured to change their business models as per the new regulations. This may lead speculative traders to lose interest in cryptocurrency margin trading, probably due to reduced profit margins.

FSA the key player

The Japanese crypto market is closely overseen by the FSA. Back in March 2018, after the CoinCheck hack, the watchdog sent “punishment notices” to as many as seven crypto exchanges and temporarily froze the activities of two more after a round of inspections.

Binance is no stranger to Japan’s harsh regulations. Binance had opened an office in Japan while in the process of trying to receive a license to operate in the country. The FSA then warned the exchange to stop operating in the country without official approval. Following the event, the exchange moved to Malta.

Since the amendment of Japan’s Payment Services Act in April 2017, all crypto exchanges in the nation are required to register with the FSA.

Prior to this, Huobi had removed the Japanese page from its website and stopped providing trading services to Japanese residents. Huobi noted that it was not registered as a virtual currency exchange business under the “funds settlement law of Japan.” Therefore, it wasn’t able to conduct any virtual currency exchange business in the country.

As of now, it looks like Binance has come across some regulatory hurdles that have compelled it to completely shut its doors to Japan. As of now, all services are available for Japanese users but restriction details will be announced later, said Binance.

Regulatory troubles have been haunting Binance from the very start. Binance started off in China, then moved to Japan, and then finally settled in Malta. The exchange also stopped serving American customers on its global website last June.

In recent times, Japan seems to have changed its stance on cryptocurrency. The country has implemented some permissive regulations to foster crypto growth and, at the same time, closely monitor crypto exchanges. How this benefits it’s thriving crypto industry is yet to be seen.

Anna Larsen
Anna Larsen has been a Crypto enthusiast since 2016. Fascinated by the technology and its usecases she decided to pursue a career in content creation related to this space. The journey has been exciting ever since.

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