Int’l Finance Watchdog Appoints Japanese Cryptocurrency Regulator

Bitcoinist September 3, 2019
Updated 2019/09/03 at 6:45 PM
3 Min Read

The Financial Stability Board (FSB) has appointed Ryozo Himino, Japan’s top cryptocurrency regulator, as the new head of its Standing Committee on Supervisory and Regulatory Cooperation.

FSA Cryptocurrency Regulator Joins FSB

In a press statement issued on Monday (September 2, 2019), the international financial system watchdog announced Himino’s appointment.

According to the press statement, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) executive will serve a two-year term starting from September 2019.

Himino is taking over from Norman Chan — the head of Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority. For the FSB, Himino’s appointment is based on his experience in international policy regulatory matters, especially with respect to cryptocurrency.

As part of the FSA, Himino reportedly played a significant role in shaping Japan’s approach to regulating cryptocurrency exchanges. The FSA was the first financial regulator of a major economy to introduce clear-cut regulations for the industry.

Many of these regulatory policies have centered around the safe custody of customer funds by exchange platforms.

Despite these efforts, Japanese exchanges continue to be a target for hackers with many high-profile cases including the Coincheck affair, where more than $500 million in NEM tokens were stolen.

Himino has also been at the forefront of Japan’s efforts to galvanize the G20 in adopting streamlined cryptocurrency regulatory policies. Robust anti-money laundering (AML) laws are a major focus on the considerations around crypto governance.

The intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has also released guidelines on how countries should oversee their local crypto industries from an AML compliance point of view.

As at the end of 2018, cryptocurrency-related money laundering accounted for less than 2% of total money laundering cases in Japan.

Focus on Facebook’s Libra

According to local Japanese media outlet Excite News, Himino’s new position at the FSB will focus on the regulation of Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency.

Reports indicate that the FSB wants Himino to leverage his experience in drafting robust laws that will govern Libra’s operations in the 24 nations that follow its guidelines.

The Libra project continues to attract heavy criticisms from stakeholders in the mainstream finance sphere.

On Monday, Yves Mersch, executive board member of the European Central Bank (ECB) described the Libra project as the “siren call of treacherous promises.” According to Mersch, Facebook’s “cartel-like” Libra will severely hamper the ECB’s ability to determine monetary policy in the region.

What do you think Himino’s appointment will do for the state of cryptocurrency regulations on the international stage? Let us know in the comments below.

Images via Shutterstock

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