(Yicai Global) Dec. 4 -- The Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) has approved four more digital currency exchanges to legally operate in Japan, Jiemian.com reported.
The agency approved 11 exchanges in September in its first round of reviews.
The FSA explained that only digital currencies processed by the approved 15 exchanges meet the definition under the fund settlement law, which went into effect on April 1. The law recognizes bitcoin as a legitimate method of payment in Japan and requires that digital currency exchanges register with the FSA.
The four exchanges approved in this round are all of recent vintage, including Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange Co., Bit Arg Exchange Tokyo Co., FTT Corp. and Xtheta Corp. (Xtheta). Three of the four exchanges have been approved to trade bitcoin, with only Xtheta allowed to trade other digital currencies including ether, bitcoin cash, ripple, litecoin ethereum classic, new economy movement, monacoin and counterparty tokens, per the FSA website.
The FSA was still reviewing 17 companies, local media reported in late September. Twelve companies that failed to meet the agency's registration requirements later shut down their exchange operations.
Coincheck, Japan's second-largest bitcoin exchange, is among the companies currently under review. The exchange issued a statement last Dec. 1, clarifying that it applied to register as a virtual currency exchange on September 13 and is still under review. Despite this, Coincheck assured its clients that it is offering services as usual.
The FSA published a document last month, which clarifies its administrative policies including those on digital currencies and initial coin offerings and outlines how it will regulate the digital currency trade. This follows the agency's announcement of its approval of the 11 above exchanges.