Between January and October, Japanese police had received 5,944 reports with regard to nefarious and illicit activities tied to cryptocurrencies according to local media, December 6, 2018.
According to multiple Japanese news outlets, National Police Agency (NPA) officials have said that the figure is eight times that of the April to December 2017 reports (669). In April 2017, it became mandatory for cryptocurrency exchanges to perform due diligence checks on customers through know-your-customer (KYC) compliance procedures and to report suspicious activity pertaining to money laundering under the new law.
Offering some clarity on the sharp year-on-year increase, the NPA is of the persuasion that it can be attributed to the fact that these activities are being reported as part of the 2017 law; also, an NPA official was quoted in The Japan Times saying:
“We have seen some large-scale cryptocurrency thefts, and operators are believed to be scrutinizing transactions more rigorously.”
The article from The Japan Times makes note that these numbers are part of a much bigger picture. Over the same ten-month span, the NPA had also received over 300,000 reports of illicit financial activity which included money laundering. Surprisingly, crypto-related reports only made up less than two percent of the overall number.
Japan has recently come one step closer to being a nation of coveted status for the global blockchain industry. On December 1, 2018, the nation’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) revealed that it would be launching regulatory frameworks for initial coin offerings (ICOs) with consumer protections in mind, a sentiment generally carried across the entire global regulatory race.