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Major Japanese Fintech Company Reveals Plans to Launch Crypto Exchange This Year

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The operator of one of Japan’s most popular personal budgeting apps Money Forward has announced its plans to launch a crypto asset exchange this year.

Money Forward Inc., the operator of one of Japan’s most popular personal budgeting apps, has announced its plans to launch a crypto asset exchange this year, in a company press release Wednesday, May 23.

A new subsidiary, MF Financial Co., Ltd., that launched today will be devoted to the company’s new crypto exchange project, and will be headed by a member of Money Forward’s Blockchain and Virtual Currency Laboratory.

The press release outlines MF’s plans to first launch a crypto media platform by summer 2018, followed by a crypto asset exchange and the construction of a digital assets remittance and settlement system, which the MF Laboratory has been researching since December 2017.

As of late 2017, the Tokyo-based company reportedly has 5.5 mln users, with over 500,000 Japanese businesses and 2,400 accounting firms using its cloud-based software for their tax accounting and invoices.

The company today also announced improved tools for its customers who currently use cryptocurrencies, providing them with an automated crypto accounts book that can be supported with data from twenty domestic and foreign crypto exchanges. The new tools also simplify users’ crypto tax return filings, by giving them an automated profit and loss calculation tool for their transaction histories.

Major Japanese financial institutions are increasingly making inroads in facilitating the country’s booming cryptocurrency sector. Just yesterday, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets, successfully piloted a cross-border payment using a Thai bank’s Blockchain Interledger.

In the past two weeks, MUFG has also revealed that it is partnering with a US cloud delivery platform to launch a blockchain-based global payment network, as well as announcing plans to trial its own cryptocurrency by 2019. Meanwhile, Japan-based global investment bank Nomura last week announced its venture to establish a custodian solution for digital assets, targeting institutional investment in the crypto space.

Home Crypto News Russia’s Digital Economy Bill Supported by State Duma Committee in Move Towards Crypto Regulation
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Russia’s Digital Economy Bill Supported by State Duma Committee in Move Towards Crypto Regulation
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Russia’s Digital Economy Bill Supported by State Duma Committee in Move Towards Crypto Regulation

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The State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support a digital economy initiative that will “minimize” the risks of citizens using digital assets.

Russian State Duma’s Committee for Legislative Work will support the first reading of an initiative that will add the basic norms of digital economy to the Russian Federation Civil Code.  This is the latest step on the road to regulating cryptocurrency in the country, local news outlet Izvestia reports Wednesday, May 16.

Pavel Krasheninnikov of political party United Russia and head of the Legislative Work committee, told Izvestia that the initiative aims to “minimize the existing risks of using digital objects for transferring assets into an unregulated digital environment for legalization of criminal incomes, bankruptcy fraud or for sponsoring terrorist groups.”

The initiative, which is scheduled to be considered next week, does not mean that digital currencies will now become a legitimate means of payment. Instead, a separate law developed by the Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of Economic Development will set conditions for digital currencies to be used as payment “in controlled quantities.” The initiative does assert that digital confirmation by a user in a smart contract is equal to his written consent.

Russia first prepared a bill “On Digital Financial Assets” in March of this year, which would provide federal laws governing cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) inspired by President Vladimir Putin’s decision to begin crypto regulation on July 1.

The March 20 draft defines crypto and digital tokens are assets only to be traded on authorized exchanges, also requiring user account at crypto exchanges to comply with AML and counter terrorism financing regulations. A review draft of the bill from mid-April added that the exchange of crypto for fiat above around $9,600 will be subject to mandatory currency exchange regulation.

Igor Sudets, the director of the program “Blockchain for Lawyers” at the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow, told Izvestia that “it is important that the crypto currency and tokens are included in the legal field of the Russian Federation”:

“On the one hand, these are opportunities that we have no right to miss. On the other hand, while they are outside the legal field, they can be used to give bribes, withdraw money in the case of bankruptcy, pay ‘black salaries, and simply get stolen – with no repercussions [for criminals].”

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