Popular cryptocurrency exchange, Hitbtc recently halted all its services in Japan as an attempt to avoid any problem with the country’s financial regulator since it is not authorized to operate in Japan. Users with Japanese IP addresses will be asked to provide their residency information within the exchange’s know-your-customer (KYC) procedure to prove they are not residents of Japan.
Hitbtc is number eight on the largest crypto exchange according to Coinmarketcap and has announced to suspend its services for Japanese residents. On the exchange’s website, it included a new section called Service Restriction to the Legal Information page of its Terms of Service. It noted that: “You shall not use our service and immediately cease using those if you are a resident or become a resident or become a resident at any time of the state or region where Hitbtc is not authorized to act.”
In addition to that it also noted: “For the avoidance of any doubt and in accordance with the Japan Payment Services Act, Hitbtc has temporarily suspended proving virtual cryptocurrency exchange services to residents of Japan.”
The exchange detailed: “In case our technology detects that you use our services from an IP address registered in Japan or any other services registered in Japan, you would be asked to confirm that you are not a resident of Japan by providing information on your residency within KYC procedure.” The exchange also posted a notice on its website this past Sunday confirming the suspension, noting that it will apply only to those living in the country.
Hit Solution Ltd, specialists in the integration of IT hardware, software, consulting and support service into computer solutions, is the firm that provided access to crypto assets exchange platform under the registered Bitbtc. Its websites state that for five years now the platform has been providing markets for bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, dogecoin, monero, USDT, and many more than 300 cryptocurrencies in total.
The Japanese Payment Services Act that Hitbtc refers to was implanted in April of last year, legalizing cryptocurrency as a means of payments. On the other hand, it also mandates any crypto exchange operating in the country to register with the country’s financial authority, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
In Sunday’s announcement, Hitbtc disclosed that it has been working with a Japanese law firm with the aim to get Hitbtc through the local subsidiary setup and licensing procedure to resume its service for Japanese residents. It finally stated that the company is actively hiring for the local office and exploring M&A opportunities to expedite the launch of the Japanese operations in Q3 2018.