A concentrated effort among 16 licensed Japanese cryptocurrency exchange operators to ‘restore confidence’ in the sector following the $530 million Coincheck theft in January has finally seen the launch of a self-regulatory body. In a report by Japanese news outlet Asahi Shimbun on Tuesday, sixteen cryptocurrency exchanges currently registered and licensed by the Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s financial regulator, have launched a self-regulating body that will be known as the ‘Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange Association’. In addition to developing standards for the wider industry, the new body will also create and establish guidelines for initial coin offerings (ICOs) in Japan by working alongside the FSA. The launch of the association comes after months of rumors of domestic licensed exchange operators banding together to adhere to self-imposed rules in order to foster a healthy trading environment, particularly in the aftermath of January’s infamous Coincheck theft. The association will begin work on a framework that entails rules for customer protection and internal controls while seeking compliance from member companies. Notably, the group will also consider imposing penalties on members for activities that undermine public confidence and trust in the industry. In no particular order, the 16 companies forming the group are: Money Partners, QUOINE, bitFlyer, Bit Bank, SBI Virtual Currency, GMO Coin, Bit Trade, BTC Box, BitPoint Japan, DMM Bitcoin, Bit Argo Exchange Tokyo, Bitgate, BITOCEAN, Fiscalo Currency Exchange, Xtheta and Tech BURO. Taizen Okuyama, president and CEO of Money Partners will serve as the chairman of the newly formed group. One of Japan’s largest foreign exchange firms, Money Partners announced its foray into the cryptocurrency space after acquiring embattled exchange Coincheck for $33.5 million this month. “We are working hard to develop security measures and internal control, we will promptly promote the rules of transactions and advertisements and the information we disclose,” Okuyama said. “We want to eliminate customers’ concerns and work to restore confidence in order to develop healthy markets.” The new industry body will also provide guidance to over a dozen cryptocurrency exchanges that seek registration but continue to operate without a license from the FSA, Okuyama added. He stated:
I would like to create a situation where I can give advice to (unregistered exchanges). The development of the industry as a whole is important.