Japan’s FSA reports further decline in number of enquiries about virtual currencies

Maria Nikolova

The FSA received 1,231 enquiries about cryptocurrencies in the quarter to end-September 2018, down from 1,602 in the preceding quarter.

The hype around virtual currencies appears to be subsiding, as indicated by the latest data provided by Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).

The FSA Counseling Office for Financial Services Users handled 1,231 enquiries concerning virtual currencies in the quarter to end-September 2018. This compares with 1,602 such enquiries received in the preceding quarter. Let’s note that the Counseling Office registered 3,559 enquiries about virtual currencies in the first three months of 2018. That is, investors are asking about cryptos more rarely and this trend has become more visible over the past two quarters.

The FSA did not elaborate on the reasons for the decline in such enquiries. Let’s note, however, that the Japanese authorities have continued to tighten their control over virtual currency exchange providers. In September, for instance, the Ministry of Finance issued a business improvement order to Tech Bureau Inc, operator of cryptocurrency exchange Zaif.

This happened about a week after Tech Bureau confirmed that about JPY 6.7 billion in virtual currency had been stolen. The virtual currency was reported to have been stolen from “hot wallets” that lack solid security. The hack, which happened between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on September 14, 2018, affected three types of cryptocurrency – Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Monacoin.

Back to the FSA data for the quarter to September 30, 2018, let’s mention that the number of enquiries about investment products also fell – from 2,231 in the quarter to end-June, to 2,016 cases in the quarter to end-September.

Across products, 343 cases (17% of the total) concerned listed stocks, 174 cases (8% of the total) concerned FX, and 169 cases (8% of the total) concerned investment trusts.

There were 167 reports of fraudulent investment solicitation, 99 of which involved damage.

Read this next

Industry News

Celsius $750m insurance claims are fraud, says lawyer seeking EU crypto superfund

“It is an intentional deception in aid of a billion-dollar securities offering.”

Institutional FX

DGCX brokers authorized to provide derivatives trading and clearing services

The DFM is looking to provide multiple asset classes such as; equities, ETFs, equities’ futures, crude oil futures, etc. to meet the growing demand from its diversified base of local and international investors.

Digital Assets

EQONEX leaves “crowded crypto exchange space” amid crypto winter

“The recent extreme market volatility and declining trading volumes have added to the headwinds being felt by exchange operators. We take a realistic view that our exchange will not move the needle for us financially over the near-to-medium term.”

Digital Assets

FTX and Paradigm partner for spreads trading: lower risk, lower fees

“This structured spread trading product is the first that will enable crypto investors to utilize cash and carry trades through FTX and Paradigm.”

Industry News

SEC uncovers online retail brokerage hacking scheme

Fraudsters were able to sell their holdings at artificially high prices and reap more than $1 million in illicit proceeds, the SEC alleged. 

Executive Moves

Cornerstone FS taps James Hickman as CEO

“I see great potential in the business from its proprietary technology to its regulatory permissions. It is already delivering an exceptional service to its SME customers and the scalable platform is ideally positioned to add further product capability.”

Retail FX

FCA warns of Lite Forex Pro as crackdown on clone scams continues

The UK Financial Conduct Authority has put out a press release that warns about a new ‘clone firm’ investment scam impersonating LiteForex‎, which rebranded last year as LiteFinance.

Digital Assets

Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital backs out of $1.2 billion deal to buy BitGo

Crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital would not move forward with its bid to buy digital-asset custodian BitGo.

Executive Moves

OctaFX elevates Nikolas Charalampous to executive director role

OctaFX has promoted its head of dealing, Nikolas Charalampous, to the role of executive director, which saw the expansion of his day-to-day responsibilities and oversight.