Japan suspends two cryptocurrency exchanges

March 8 (UPI) — Japan’s Financial Services Agency suspended two cryptocurrency operations Thursday.

The agency directed the two cryptocurrency operations — FHSO, based in Yokohama City, and Bit Station, based in Nagoya Prefecture — to shut down for a 30-day period starting on Thursday.

The agency said it punished FHSO for not adequately monitoring trading and failing to properly train employees. Bit Station had an executive who mishandled customer money.

The sanctions marked the first time the agency has suspended a suspension cryptocurrency exchange, Japan’s Kyodo News reported.

The move was part of a larger crackdown on seven digital currency exchanges countrywide.

In addition to the two suspensions, the Financial Services Agency also issued five business improvement orders Thursday, including one to Coincheck, which had already received one in January after it fell victim to a $530 million hack.

The other four operators are Bicrement, GMO Coin, Tech Bureau Corporation and Mr. Exchange. The agency ordered the companies to file business improvement plans by March 22.

The Financial Services Agency has increased its oversight of cryptocurrency exchanges since the Coincheck hack in January. Those exchanges are also required to register with the government.

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