The cryptocurrency world is anxiously awaiting the arrival of new rules which could put a huge dampener on the markets. But one of the world’s biggest Bitcoin and Ethereum exchanges has thumbed its nose at the plans and said they will never work. BitFlyer, which is based in Japan, recently launched a European exchange to capitalise on a huge crypto craze. Yuzo Kano, bitFlyer’s co-founder and CEO, said there was no way governments would be able to shut down cryptocurrency trading.
“They know you shouldn’t ban cryptocurrencies because you will push them underground,’ he said.
Kano, who counts Japanese banks Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and MUFG among his investors, said trading bitcoin was not akin to gambling but was ‘high-risk’, The prices of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies tumbled again on Tuesday in a second ‘bloodbath’ prompted by fears about a global clampdown. Bitcoin, the biggest of the hundreds of virtual currencies now traded across the globe, is down from a peak of almost $20,000 in December and is worth roughly $11,200 at the time of writing. The merest mention of regulations is enough to send cryptocurrency markets into meltdown. In the past fortnight, there have been two ‘bloodbaths’ in which the price of thousands of virtual coins plunged.
Prices dropped amid fears that a global clampdown would bring an end to the free-wheeling, largely unregulated nature of the crypto markets. South Korea – a huge market for virtual coins – will ban the use of anonymous bank accounts in cryptocurrency trading on January 30, its regulators announced today. The move is designed to stop digital dosh being used for money laundering and other crimes. Local cryptocurrency traders will not be allowed to make deposits into their virtual currency exchange wallets unless the names on their bank accounts matches the account name in cryptocurrency exchanges, Kim Yong-beom, vice chairman of the Financial Services Commission told a news conference in Seoul.
Tuesday’s announcement follows a string of warnings from global policymakers about cryptocurrency trading, including those from South Korea’s chief financial regulator last week who said the government may consider shutting down domestic virtual currency exchanges. The regulator has previously said it will come up with detailed guidelines for local banks to properly identify its clients by their real names in cryptocurrency transactions.
To make deposits into virtual coin wallets, cryptocurrency traders will need to identify themselves with their real names at the exchange and have those matched with information at local banks by January 30. The French finance minister has also called for tough new regulations on cryptocurrencies to stop them being used to dodge tax or finance terrorism and other crime.