TOKYO – The value of Bitcoin fell more than 4 percent on Friday on the main Japanese markets after the country’s national regulator issued a warning to the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, over its unlicensed operations in Japan.
On Friday at 9:50 am local time (0150 GMT), the value of the most popular digital currency was at about 918,800 yen ($8,762), marking an intraday fall of 4.30 percent, according to Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck.
Bitcoin began to depreciate on Thursday after the Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) planned to issue an official warning to Binance, a Hong-Kong based company, for offering services in Japan without complying with the necessary regulations.
The country’s financial regulator released on Friday a statement confirming that it had issued a warning to Binance “for operating without being registered,” which violates the guidelines on cryptocurrency exchanges, and could lead to penalties against the company.
Japanese regulations require all cryptocurrency companies operating in the country to register with the FSA and meet certain security and transparency requirements, as well as requiring them to verify the identity of their customers in order to prevent money laundering and other illegal transactions.
Binance allows its users to open digital accounts and process their purchases in digital currencies without having to verify their identity with an official document.
The Hong Kong-based company has positioned itself as the world’s largest cryptocurrency operator in just 10 months since its creation, and achieved a turnover of $1.65 trillion, according to data from the specialized website, Coinmarketcap.
Japan, a pioneer in the regulation of the sector, has intensified its vigilance over traders since the hacking of the Coincheck exchange house in January, when some $493 million worth of virtual currencies disappeared.
This issue also garnered much attention from governments and international organizations during a G20 meeting held earlier this week in Buenos Aires, where the finance ministers of the participating countries discussed the possibility of creating coordinated measures to regulate the sector.