After a protracted four-year absence, crypto ATMs, or BTMs as they are known locally, are once again available in Japan. Gaia Co., Ltd., a local cryptocurrency exchange company, said it would soon introduce BTMs that back Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ether (ETH), as well as Bitcoin Cash (BCH). During the Crypto winter of 2018, local exchange Coincheck was hacked for $530 million, bringing the local sector to its knees and diminishing interest in crypto ATMs. This is why the country has not had any active digital assets despite Bitcoin ATMs.
According to reports, a locally registered cryptocurrency company has never erected a Bitcoin ATM in Japan. Users must register with the company to receive a unique card to withdraw money from the BTMs. Once authorized, users can use their smartphones to send crypto assets to the BTM and then use them to withdraw cash in yen. The BTMs will be set in locations throughout Tokyo and Osaka. There are plans to install 50 BTMs nationwide within the following year.
The maximum withdrawal amount from the BTMs currently stands at $2,243, or 300,000 Japanese yen, per day, with a per-transaction maximum of $747, or 100,000 Japanese yen. The restricted withdrawals are a component of compliance measures against Anti-money laundering (AML). In the wake of the Coincheck hack and the $500 million Mt. Gox crypto exchange hack in 2014, the government decided to take a hands-off policy and delegate monitoring to the self-regulatory organization Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).