Today cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, have become a global phenomenon known to most people. While still somehow geeky and not understood by the majority of the population, banks, governments and many companies are aware of its importance. Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or people who developed Bitcoin, the first and still most important cryptocurrency. Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. "It's completely decentralized with no server or central authority," wrote Satoshi Nakamoto.
But is cryptocurrency making big enough strides to need regulation? Well, apparently financial regulators in Japan think so.
The Cabinet of Japan, the executive branch of the country's government, has reportedly approved draft amendments to Japan's financial and payment services laws, limiting leverage in cryptocurrency margin trading at two to four times the initial deposit. Margin trading is the use of borrowed funds from a broker to trade a financial asset, thus forming a collateral for the loan. The new rules, which are reportedly to come into force in April 2020, will require cryptocurrency exchange operators to register within 18 months of that date, which will purportedly enable the Financial Services Agency or FSA to introduce relevant measures in regard to unregistered cryptocurrency.
Following the announcement of the new regulations, individuals dealing cryptocurrency will presumably be monitored, the same as securities traders, in order to protect investors. Additionally, cryptocurrency operators will be divided into groups to identify those engaged in margin trading and those issuing tokens through initial coin offerings or ICOs. With this move, regulators reportedly aim to secure investors from getting caught up in Ponzi Schemes, as well as encourage legitimate companies to practice offerings as fundraising tools.
In January of this year, the FSA revealed that it was considering the regulation of unregistered firms that solicit investments in cryptocurrencies. The development is reportedly a bid to close a loophole in the country's existing regulatory framework, in which unregistered firms that collect funds in crypto rather than sanctioned currencies remain in a legal gray area.
Back in August 2018, the commissioner of the FSA said that the agency wants the cryptocurrency industry to "grow under appropriate regulation" in order to find the balance between consumer protection and technological innovation.
However, there is still a lot of work required to give cryptocurrencies a stable platform to operate, but with regulations currently being drafted, the idea that Bitcoin and others like it eventually becoming a "world currency" is now a rather reasonable possibility. Although at this point, most of us would probably agree with United States Senator Thomas Carper who said, "Virtual currencies, have captured the imagination of some, struck fear among others, and confused the heck out of the rest of us."