Crypto and Blockchain News From Japan: Oct. 14–20 in Review


The cryptocurrency- and blockchain-friendly country of Japan has seen a number of significant developments for the industries this past week. A self-regulatory organization has introduced guidance for cryptocurrency custodians, while a subsidiary of major financial services firm SBI Holdings will conduct compliance policies using blockchain technology. 

Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan.

Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association releases guidelines on custody

The Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) — a self-regulatory organization for the cryptocurrency industry in Japan — has released guidance for cryptocurrency custody operators. 

The JCBA issued guidelines for crypto custodians ahead of the introduction of the Fund Settlement Act. The organization distinguished the various responsibilities of cryptocurrency custodians and suggested that there should be a difference in the range of virtual currencies that can be handled based on the differences in business characteristics in those assets.

Decentralized gaming platform releases Japanese-language version

The Sandbox, a decentralized gaming platform, launched a Japanese-language dashboard. The platform allows users to create and monetize characters as non-fungible tokens (NFTs). 

Users use VoxEdit to create their own NFT assets and sell them on the marketplace for Sand tokens. Users can then create and host games and contests of various genres such as martial arts and racing.

SBI subsidiary establishes blockchain-based KYC and AML verification 

SBI Security Solutions, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, has established a new company that provides solutions for Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes with blockchain technology. The new company was formed in a partnership between the SBI subsidiary and international IT firm NEC.

The new company will be called “SBI Digitrust” and will be capitalized at 300 million yen ($2,766,000), 66% of which will be invested by SBI Security and 34% by NEC. SBI and NEC have jointly conducted pilots using blockchain technology and intend to combine SBI Security’s cybersecurity knowledge and NEC’s biometric authentication and AI technology.

Bitbank cryptocurrency exchange nets 30% share of the domestic market 

Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Bitbank has released data showing that its average market share in domestic physical cryptocurrency trading volume is 30%. Citing data from the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association, Bitbank COO Hiroyuki Mihara wrote that Bitbank’s domestic spot trading share during this period averaged 30.2%.

While 30% may seem impressive for a single exchange in a crypto-friendly country like Japan, it represents a decline in market share for Bitbank. Mihara attributed the decline to the fact that several trading pairs for crypto and yen (JPY) are not available on the exchange, including Ether (ETH)/JPY, Litecoin (LTC)/JPY, and NEM (XEM)/JPY.