Binance receives notice from authorities in Japan
The Binance CEO has met news of a Japan shutdown with bafflement and mild irritation.
Update: News of licensing issues surfaced in Japanese news, causing some bafflement and mild irritation, shortly before Binance received a letter from Japan's financial service authorities.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has now said on Twitter that Binance is in contact with regulators to work through the issue.
We received a simple letter from JFSA about an hour ago. Our lawyers called JFSA immediately, and will find a solution. Protecting user interests is our top priority." - Source
Binance is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency exchanges by volume. It may have been one of the exchanges that received a warning in Japan's recent regulatory sweep of 15 exchanges in the wake of the $534 million Coincheck NEM heist.
Prominent Japanese news outlet Nikkei has since reported that Binance was found to be operating in the country without appropriate licensing, and would need to be shut down or face criminal charges.
"The company was operating in Japan with no registration and it was judged that investors could suffer damage. If it does not stop business, it may face criminal charges from police authorities," Nikkei reported.
Binance has since criticised Nikkei's "irresponsible journalism" and said that it's currently in conversations with regulators and that there's no shut down on the horizon.
"Nikkei showed irresponsible journalism. We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA (financial services authority) and have not received any mandates. It does not make sense for JFSA to tell a newspaper before telling us, while we have an active dialog going on with them," said Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao on Twitter.
Japan has seen a lot of cryptocurrency enthusiasm from its citizens, and corporations, so far and its authorities have previously expressed concern for its citizens' financial risks, and the potential of cryptocurrencies to facilitate criminal activities.
It got a lot of early exposure to both, with the now-famous story of the early Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange unravelling in Tokyo, and continuing in the country's bankruptcy courts for years.
Binance has so far demonstrated an impressive track record in user security. It's previously countered attacks that probably would have taken down most other exchanges and followed them up with sizable bounties for information leading to the arrest of the culprits.
It's also shown a solid commitment to working with regulators around the world and has even preemptively over-regulated itself in the past.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, XRB
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