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Japan Regulator Addresses Concerns Over P2P Crypto Transfers

Japan's Financial Services Agency clarifies its position on P2P crypto transfers, emphasizing its focus on preventing unlawful money transfers while addressing concerns over fraud and user protection.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan's primary financial regulator, has clarified its stance on peer-to-peer (P2P) crypto transactions following recent recommendations to local banks. In response to concerns raised, the FSA emphasized that its guidelines do not pertain to transactions between individuals.

Purpose of FSA Recommendations

The FSA's letter to banks, issued on Feb. 14, urged them to enhance user protection by scrutinizing transactions to crypto-asset exchange service providers. Specifically, the FSA highlighted the need to halt transfers if the sender's name differs from the account name. This measure aims to prevent unlawful money transfers to crypto platforms, particularly those involving fraudulent activities.

Addressing Fraudulent Practices

The FSA's directive targets scenarios where fraudsters manipulate individuals into depositing funds from their bank accounts into the fraudster's crypto account. To circumvent platform restrictions, the fraudster convinces the victim to change their name to match the fraudster's identity. However, with the new recommendations in place, banks are advised to block suspicious transactions involving name changes aimed at depositing funds into crypto platforms.

Implementation and Impact

While multiple financial institutions have already implemented these measures, the FSA has not received reports of significant concerns regarding crypto asset markets. Importantly, the FSA's recommendations are not mandatory for all financial institutions. Instead, banks are encouraged to assess their individual circumstances and adopt appropriate measures accordingly.

Regional Efforts Against Crypto Fraud

Japan's proactive stance against crypto-related fraud aligns with similar initiatives in neighboring South Korea. The South Korean Financial Intelligence Unit plans to introduce a preemptive trading suspension system for suspicious transactions on local platforms. This preemptive measure aims to freeze transactions during the pre-investigation phase, enhancing the country's efforts to combat fraudulent activities in the crypto space.