The race between the US and Japan for the creation of a regulated market for cryptocurrency

US Might Soon Follow Japan’s Example in Bitcoin Regulation

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The cryptocurrency comptroller, Keith Noreika, recently expressed an interest in creating a unified regulatory framework across the US.

The Japanese government and financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) announced last week that they officially authorized and recognized 11 different cryptocurrency exchanges within the country. This included BitFlyer, Japan’s largest exchange platform which boasts over 800 000 users.

Following this event, it seems likely that the US government may soon follow suit regarding its regulatory policies towards cryptocurrencies.

CEO of BitFlyer, Yuzo Kano, expressed in a statement the importance of regulatory policies when it comes to volatile cryptocurrency markets and other activities. In the statement, he applauded the Japanese government for putting regulations in place and voiced his belief that the country’s regulatory framework would put Japan at the center of global cryptocurrency trading, investing development and innovation.

According to Kano, Japan has already exploded with the cryptocurrency activity. Kano stated that FSA’s approval of bitFlyer in addition to the company’s transparency and innovation in terms of regulation came at just the right moment in blockchain history.

During this year’s Blockchain NZ conference that was hosted in Auckland New Zealand, the bitcoin and security expert, Andreas Antonopoulos addressed the conference by explaining that governments can either chose to ban the cryptocurrency industry within their borders, or embrace it and create a transparent, fair and efficient environment in which individuals and businesses alike can operate.

However, Antonopoulos warned that by choosing to do nothing, governments could ruin cryptocurrency trading in their respective countries. He cited the example of Australia imposing sales taxes on all cryptocurrency transactions. According to Antonopoulos, the best option is to encourage cryptocurrency activity by creating a level playing field.

Japan seems to have taken this advice to heart. Less than a week after officially recognizing 11 different trading platforms, Japan experienced a significant increase in demand for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The increased demand has made Japan the world’s busiest and largest cryptocurrency exchange industry and led to a marked increase in bitcoin value.

During an event held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, the acting comptroller of the currency Keith Noreika stated that he is open to cryptocurrencies applying for bank status. Noreika stated that he is considering implementing a nationwide licensing program for all cryptocurrency exchanges. Essentially, this move would eliminate regional licenses, such as the New York BitLicense. It would also require a comprehensive regulatory framework for both traders and investors.

However, Noreika stated that while he is open to the process, it would be a long and arduous one.

It seems unlikely that the US will move as quickly with cryptocurrency regulation as Japan did. However, considering the optimistic response that Japan received after introducing their regulation, as well as the high growth indicators, the US might have to introduce regulatory frameworks sooner rather than later. Currently, the US is the world’s second-largest bitcoin exchange market, following Japan.

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