Japan: Only 0.16% Of 2017 Money Laundering Reports Came From Crypto Exchanges

The proportion of suspected money laundering cases involving cryptocurrency in Japan is a fraction of the fiat total for 2017, new data reported by Nikkei Asian Review shows.

As Nikkei reports, quoting statistics from Japan’s National Police Agency, from April to December 2017, cryptocurrency exchanges reported 669 instances of suspicious activity they suspect could be money laundering.

This compares to around 347,000 cases reported by banks in 2017, 15,400 from credit card companies and 13,300 from credit unions, Nikkei reports, citing police records. The total number of money laundering reports for the whole of 2017 stood at just over 400,000.

The reporting period for cryptocurrency began in April, 2017 after new legislation obliged exchange operators to increase transparency and adhere to anti-money laundering regulations.

The figures are promising against a continued narrative from international governments that money laundering is a key battleground to be targeted by increased regulations.

Of the 669 cases, it is likely many involved “questionable transactions repeated frequently in a short span of time,” Nikkei notes, further reducing the number of bad actors involved in the practice.

Japan continues to keep a close eye on its fledgling exchange sphere. In the wake of Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck’s $530mln hack in January, 2018, reporting obligations for exchanges have tightened, with finance minister Taro Aso confirming “impartial” inspections by regulators are occurring across exchanges.

In Australia meanwhile, Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, cryptocurrency “scams” sparked 1200 complaints to consumer watchdog the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission last year.

Rank Site Location +currency Buy
with…
Score
1 etoro London, UK

USD
derivatives

CFD
+ bank transf.
+ card
+ paypal
+ webmoney
9.85
2 coinbase San Fran, USA

USD EUR GBP
buy bitcoin credit card

+ bank transf.
9.80
3 iqoption Limassol, Cyprus

USD EUR
derivatives

CFD
+ bank transf.
+ card
9.75
4 localbitcoins local

all currencies
buy bitcoin with cash

+ paypal
+ bank transf.
9.55
5 cex London, UK

USD EUR GBP RUB
buy bitcoin credit card

+ bank transf.
+ Ethereum
9.50
6 changelly

cryptocurrency exchange
Prague, Czech Rep.

35+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY

+ credit card
8.65
8 binance

cryptocurrency exchange
Shanghai, China

30+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY
8.60
9 hitbtc

cryptocurrency exchange
Copenhagen, Denmark

25+ crypto pairs
cryptocurrency
CRYPTO- CURRENCY
8.30

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