Japan’s two cryptocurrency industry groups will reportedly merge to form a legally-sanctioned self-regulatory body following talks held Thursday, Feb. 15.
The Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association (JCBA) should become a singular entity from April 1, mainstream media suggest.
The move follows demands from regulators that only one body make legal decisions, part of requirements which became law a year previously in April 2017 when Japan launched cryptocurrency exchange licensing.
Commenting on the developments, JBA executive director Yuzo Kano highlighted that although “progress” had been made between the two groups, the merger was not yet finalized, contrary to reports in Nikkei and elsewhere.
“The Association is genuinely consulting on integration with the JCBA for customer protection and industry development, and it is also true that there is progress, but it is not yet concrete fact,” he wrote on Twitter Friday.
— caicaikiki, ブロックチェーン事務局長 (@caicaikiki) February 16, 2018
A press statement from the JBA also reiterated no timeframe for the merger to take place had yet been agreed.
The formalization of the industry represents a further step in allowing cryptocurrency to regulate itself in Japan, deciding its own parameters and becoming a bonafide area of the economy.
Once formed, the umbrella body will be able to create rules and regulations for its members, including any penalties for flouting newly-approved regulations.
Earlier this week, Cointelegraph reported the South Korean government was also “actively considering” an exchange licensing scheme for its domestic businesses.