Cryptocurrencies: Japan ‘Clamps’ Down, Bitcoin ‘Falls’ Down
Bitcoin falls 8% after Japan watchdog orders exchanges to strengthen practices against money laundering
- The world’s largest digital currency hit a 4-month low of $6,092.38 and broke below $6,400 for the 1st time in a week.
- The order led bitFlyer, the largest crypto exchange in Japan to suspend the creation of new accounts while it makes changes.
- The Japanese watchdog agency gave the same order to 5 other exchanges after finding weaknesses in their controls against money laundering.
The order from Japan’s Financial Services Agency led bitFlyer, the country’s largest crypto exchange to suspend the creation of new accounts while it makes improvements, especially in its measures to stop money laundering and terrorist financing.
“Our management and all employees are united in our understanding of how serious these issues are, as well as how serious we are in responding to them going forward,” bitFlyer said in a statement on its website.
“In order to maximize our efforts towards building a suitable service and improving on the issues identified, we have temporarily suspended account creation for new customers of our own volition,” bitFlyer said.
The agency gave the same order to 5 other exchanges after finding weaknesses in their controls against money laundering.
In the short run this regulatory action reduces the flow of new capital to the largest exchange in the largest market for Bitcoin trading.
Currently, Bitcoin is trading at 6,131.55, +80.08, or +1.3233%, as of 5:46a BST, the market is open
Bitcoin trading in Japanese Yen (JPY) makes up more than 60% of the digital currency’s daily volume, according to data from market analysts.
Recently, even minor cryptocurrency news has the power to trigger a larger sell-off in this choppy low volume market.
Recall, that in March, Japanese regulators issued punishment notices to multiple exchanges and forced some to stop business altogether after the $530-M theft of digital currency from exchange Coincheck.
Other cryptocurrencies fell alongside bitcoin Friday. Ethereum (ETH), the 2nd-largest cryptocurrency by market cap, fell 9%, while XRP was down 7%. Bitcoin cash and litecoin both dropped 11%.
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