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Japan strengthens stance on crypto regulation with new anti-money laundering measures

In this post:

  • Japan plans to enforce strict anti-money laundering (AML) rules for cryptocurrency transactions from June 1.
  • A legal framework for stablecoins has been established, with issuance only by recognized financial entities.
  • Despite varying crypto regulations in Asia, the trend leans towards stricter rules as Japan aligns its laws with global standards.

In an era of rapidly evolving digital currencies, Japan is tightening its regulatory grip to maintain pace. According to local news media Kyodo News, the nation is considering adopting new stringent anti-money laundering (AML) rules on cryptocurrency transactions to enhance traceability and deter financial crimes. However, this is part of a broader push for global regulatory standards across the Asian region, enhancing the integrity of a market that is fast becoming an integral part of the global financial ecosystem.

The “travel rule” comes to Japan

Slated for an introduction on June 1, Japan’s cabinet plans to enforce the “travel rule”, an international AML regulation outlined by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This regulatory standard necessitates that financial institutions share certain client information during transactions to improve tracking and combat money laundering and other financial wrongdoings.

Under this rule, each transaction stage should include the participants’ names, addresses, and other financial identifiers. Originally designed for conventional financial institutions, the rule has since been expanded to cover virtual asset service providers, reflecting the increasingly digitized nature of global finance.

Japan’s previous attempt to adopt these AML measures in 2021 needed to be deemed more by FATF. The impending implementation reflects the nation’s continuous effort over the past two years to align its cryptocurrency regulations with international standards amidst criticism over its progress in overseeing digital assets.

An enhanced legal structure for cryptocurrencies

Japan’s crypto-regulation evolution isn’t confined to AML measures. In June last year, the Japanese legislature passed a significant investor protection bill, establishing a robust legal structure for stablecoins, defined as digital currencies.

The law reserves the issuance of stablecoins to recognized financial institutions, such as registered banks, money transfer agencies, and trust companies. This move was concurrently paired with amendments to the Foreign Exchange Act to curb cryptocurrency transactions suspected of aiding sanctioned Russian nationalists.

While Japan bolsters its cryptocurrency AML rules, it’s worth noting the contrasting shift in Hong Kong, which is expected to relax restrictions on virtual asset providers previously prevented from serving retail crypto investors.

Yet, Japan’s move echoes a larger trend across Asia, as countries like South Korea and India have also incorporated FATF’s travel rule. With digital assets becoming an increasingly critical part of the financial landscape, Japan’s regulatory measures signal a vital step towards safeguarding its burgeoning cryptocurrency market.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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