Japanese Internet Conglomerate to Launch Bitcoin Exchange
Japanese Internet conglomerate GMO Internet has announced the launch of their new Bitcoin exchange, GMO-Z.com Coin.
GMO Internet launches exchanges
Following the implementation of a law that brings Bitcoin exchanges in the country under national KYC/AML rules and views Bitcoin as an online payment system, Japan continues to establish its presence in the global Bitcoin market, with 18 exchanges applying for a Bitcoin Exchange License in the first month of approval.
One of which was GMO Internet Co., Ltd, a Japanese conglomerate that offers a wide range of internet services for individuals and corporations, that has announced the launch of a Bitcoin exchange on May 24th via an official statement.
Dubbed GMO-Z.com Coin Co., Ltd., the exchange was first announced by the Japanese company last year as a cryptocurrency wallet. However, due to the advancements made in Bitcoin regulations within the country, GMO Internet decided to launch a full-scale exchange, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin with JPY.
Established in October 2016, the GMO-Z.com Coin exchange is scheduled for launch on the 24th of May but users can already apply for an account as of today, May 9th.
The exchange will offer two kinds of products, a “virtual currency FX” and “virtual currency trading”, allowing users to trade Bitcoin with up to 5x leverage and to buy and sell it for JPY. The exchange will also employ the zero-trading fee model that was once the trademark feature of Chinese Bitcoin exchanges, prior to the PBoC intervention.
The announcement also references the safety procedures of GMO-Z.com Coin, which will feature a management and security system for customers’ assets, such as cold storage and multi-signature wallets. In addition, the exchange will also be insured against cyber attacks and theft by Mitsui Sumitomo Kaika Kaisha Insurance Co., Ltd.
The announcement also mentions future developments, which include the development of new services and the addition of other cryptocurrencies including Ether, the underlying token of the Ethereum blockchain.
Bitcoin in Japan
The introduction of the new law in Japan credits Bitcoin with a new level of trust, given that users can now expect a certain level of legal compliance from the exchanges. Said law also ensures the exemption of cryptocurrencies from the consumption tax, which is sure to boost cryptocurrency adoption in the country. This can be noted in the growing JPY trading volume which is currently number one in the global Bitcoin market.
Applying to become a compliant exchange has steep requirements, including the submission of a 3-year business plan, segregated fund management, KYC/AML requirements, frequent reporting to authority, external audits and reserve capital of at least 10 million yen. These, however, did not stop the 18 exchanges that applied in the first month, nor did it stop GMO-Z.com Coin which is launching with 500 million yen in capital reserves.
Overall, the introduction of the new law in Japan can bring great benefits for Bitcoin within the country. The GMO-Z Coin team noted this in its statement (translated):
In recent years, utilization of virtual currency such as bitcoin is progressing in various transactions such as international remittance and settlement to individuals and companies, and it is said that the market size of virtual currency will reach 1 trillion yen in a few years.
In Japan, various provisions for protecting consumers have been established by the revised fund settlement law which took effect in April 2017.
A registration system was introduced that requires the establishment of a system to carry out the bitcoin exchange industry properly and reliably. This is expected to increase the health of the market. Furthermore, since July 2017, the consumption tax on the transfer of virtual currency will also be eliminated, so virtual currency usage is expected to spread exponentially.
Can the new Bitcoin law in Japan bring Bitcoin to a whole new level of adoption? Let us know in the comment section.
Images courtesy of CryptoCompare, GMO-Z.com Coin