Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has been very strict with its approval for a cryptocurrency exchange to legally operate in the country. After almost a year since its last approval, cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck, which was hacked early last year, has become the 17th fully-registered crypto exchange in the country.
The FSA announced on Friday that it has approved the registration of Coincheck as a cryptocurrency exchange. Under the country’s Payment Service Act, all crypto exchanges must register with the FSA. After the hack the exchanged was acquired by Monex Group and numerous improvements were made by the exchange to earn this approval.
The Monex Group issued a press release on Friday with registration details. The announcement reads:
Coincheck Inc … announced today that it has registered with the Kanto Financial Bureau as a cryptocurrency exchange agency in accordance with the Payment Service Act, effective January 11, 2019.
According to the FSA’s website, Coincheck handles nine cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, ETC, LSK, FCT, XRP, XEM, LTC, and BCH.
Coincheck suffered a hack in January last year after which the platform suspended certain services. This was done in order “to focus on enhancing governance and internal controls by developing business improvement plans and carrying them out,” as explained by the company. On Nov. 26, services for tradable cryptocurrencies were resumed including depositing, remitting, purchasing and selling.
Initially, Coincheck applied for registration with the FSA in September 2017. While FSA approved 16 crypto exchanges throughout that year, Coincheck was under evaluation by the regulator. The exchange was classified as a deemed dealer, which means it was allowed to operate while the FSA reviewed its application.
Coincheck outlined six areas where the platform had addressed in order to comply with the FSA’s registration requirements. The exchange has:
“improved governance fundamentally,”
“revisited the business strategy and ensured customer protection,”
“strengthened governance control by the board,”
“clarified risks on cryptocurrencies being offered by the company,”
“implemented measures on anti-money laundering (AML) and countering the finance of terrorism (CFT),” and
“revised organizational structure to ensure validity.”
Furthermore, the company assured investors that it “does not conduct cryptocurrency transactions on its own account,” adding:
Coincheck Inc. does conduct cover transactions with domestic and overseas cryptocurrency exchanges speedily for the positions that resulted from the selling and buying transactions with customers.
Getting an approval, more than a year later is definitely a feat for the platform. Last cryptocurrency exchange, Bitocean, was approved by the FSA on Dec. 26, 2017. After the hack on Coincheck, the agency decided to slow down the rate of approvals and began tightening its oversight of crypto exchanges, forcing 13 out of 16 deemed dealers to exit the market.
It was reported last year, that FSA received over 190 Cryptocurrency Exchange license applications, and only one of them has been approved till date.