JAPAN IS PRESSURING CRYPTO EXCHANGES
The FSA wants exchanges to drop Monero, Dash and other coins
Bitcoin used to be infamous for allegedly being popular with criminals, being a frequently used payment method for illegal activities. Nowadays other coins have got into the spotlight of suspicion and Japan’s Financial Services Agency has decided to take preventive actions.
Samantha Chang wrote on btcmanager.com: “Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) is reportedly pressuring cryptocurrency exchanges to drop Dash (DASH), Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and other altcoins in a bid to cut down on money-laundering and cyberhacking. Sources told Forbes that altcoins such dash, monero, and zcash have become increasingly popular among criminals, kidnappers, and hackers because they’re virtually untraceable.
According to Chang’s article, many criminals who previously used Bitcoin for illegal activities, now prefer Dash, Monero, Zcash and some other altcoins because they are more difficult to trace than Bitcoin now.
After January’s massive hack, Coincheck delisted Dash, Monero and Zcash. Investigation is still on-going, and it’s unclear whether the cyber-thieves who stole $500 million in NEM will ever be caught.
Based on insider information, Japan’s FSA considers Dash and Monero the most problematic because of the anonymity that they offer users. At the moment these altcoins are still allowed but speculation is growing that Japan might ban their trading.
The New York Attorney General’s Office is examining crypto exchanges at the moment, based on questionnaires sent to 13 major crypto exchanges. The Attorney General said: “Bitcoin, Ether, and other virtual currencies have captured the imagination of millions of people worldwide, but virtual currency is also a highly speculative sector. Moreover, published reports indicate the sector has attracted fraudsters, market manipulators, and thieves.”
While Dash, Monero and Zcash are under attack in Japan, Bitcoin has been cleared of the same charges in a new report by Quebec’s Chief Scientist Office: “Quebec Government Chief Scientist declares that Bitcoin is not used for money-laundering unlike cash and has almost no impact on criminal activity,” said Francis Pouliot, the CEO of blockchain startup Catallaxy.
Attorney and crypto-currency expert Erwan Jonchères confirms Quebec’s Chief Scientist’s assessment.
“The anonymity of Bitcoin is a myth,” Jonchères said. “There is no more transparent money because you have to go through a platform where you have to give personal information. At the very least, [even if a name is fake] we always know the address of the transmitter and that of the receiver.”
Good news for Bitcoin, but certain altcoins that want to stand out by offering anonymity, have to calculate with regulatory difficulties, at least in Japan, for now.