While initial coin offerings (ICOs) are unregulated in many well-developed nations, Japan and Singapore are keen to provide clear guidance and implement new regulations for the cryptocurrency industry. According to a JiJi Press’ article published on December 1, 2018, the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA) will launch a transparent ICO regulatory framework shortly, with the intent of protecting their investors from scams and Ponzi Schemes.

Japan Will Launch Regulations Concerning ICOs

The JiJi Press reported that Japan is set to launch regulations concerning ICOs, a fundraising approach many startups use to raise capital by issuing native cryptocurrencies.

While ICOs democratize early-stage investing and can help startups gro, in light of the high number of fraudulent ICO cases abroad, Japan’s financial watchdog will limit the amount an individual can invest in an ICO to protect retail investors.

According to the New York-based Statis Group, studies indicated that in 2017, almost 80 percent of ICOs were scams designed to trick retail investors. For example, Arisebank recently tricked investors and promoted themselves as the first decentralized banking platform. Jared Rice, the CEO of Arisebank, was recently arrested as he allegedly defrauded investors of over $4 million in the scam.

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To ensure even greater investor protection, any businesses that want to raise funds via a token sale also need to register with the FSA first. For the regulations to pass, the FSA will submit these bills to revise the financial instruments, payment service laws, and exchanges in the next parliamentary session in early next year, January 2019.

Singapore Published Updated ICO Guide

Singapore is, however, even more ahead of Japan when it comes to offering a stable regulatory framework. On November 14, 2017, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) published a guide concerning Digital Token Offerings. The MAS has recently updated the guide to include information concerning businesses looking to raise additional capital via an ICO on November 30, 2018.

The updated draft goes into greater detail about the Singaporean Central Bank’s position on how financial intermediaries should behave based on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering Financing of Terrorism (CFT) policies.

The New Payments Framework emphasized the importance of intermediaries taking appropriate steps to develop and implement internal policies under the appropriate MAS notices. Even if the cryptocurrency token is not a security, it will, however, need to comply with AML and CFT regulations.

This post is credited to btcmanager

China and Japan’s power struggle is good news for Southeast Asia?

The Japan-China rivalry in Southeast Asia is good for the economic development and strategic autonomy of Southeast Asian states. This is particularly so for the poorer countries of the region that harbour the greatest fears of becoming solely dependent on China.

China and Japan are fully engaged in a strategic rivalry for influence in Southeast Asia with infrastructure financing as one of the major bases of competition. Cambodia is one of the most willing partners of Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s Eurasia-spanning Belt and Road Initiative. All Southeast Asian countries are founding members of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Partnership for Quality Infrastructure initiative is focussed on Southeast Asia and India. In 2016, all ten Asean states received Japanese aid, even oil-rich Brunei and Singapore. Vietnam, the region’s most reluctant partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative, received over half of the $3.17 billion Japan gave in aid to the region that fiscal year — over four times more than Thailand, over 15 times more than Cambodia and over 30 times more than Laos.

Fortunately for Southeast Asia, post-war Japan has seen the region as its key economic and strategic hinterland. Japan remains the largest source of foreign direct investment and official development assistance, in stock and flow terms, in developing Southeast Asia. Speaking of which… Japan’s Shinsei Bank has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with blockchain startup ConsenSys to widen its exploration of the technology’s applications for finance.

According to an English-language press release published the same date, the MoU entails a business alliance between Shinsei Bank, Hong Kong-based restricted license bank Nippon Wealth, Singaporean private equity fund Tribay Capital, and ConsenSys. The latter was founded in 2014 by Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Joseph Lubin, and is currently headquartered in New York.

Blockchain is becoming a key focus of Japan’s traditional financial sector, with multinational IT firm Fujitsu announcing late October its plans build an interbank settlement platform using blockchain technology as part of a joint project with nine domestic banks.

HOW ABOUT CHINA? 

Throughout the past 24 hours, several publications and public figures have misreported that China has put an end to its blanket ban on bitcoin and the cryptocurrency exchange market.

In October, as CnLedger, a trusted news source in China reported, the Chinese court confirmed that Bitcoin is protected by law as property. As such, individuals, businesses, and merchants can technically utilize cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum as a payment method without conflicting with local regulations.

Giving a peace on mind… There are still lots of blockchain development catching up to bring heat into Southeast Asia.

This post is credited to coins300