Japan has stepped up its drive to maintain its leadership of the Bitcoin exchange market in the Asian region by licensing four new Bitcoin exchanges. This was contained in a press release from the Japanese Financial Services Commission (JFSA), Japan’s financial sector regulator. This is the 2nd round of approvals conducted by the Japanese regulators. The first set of approvals which were granted in September 2017 saw 11 companies being licensed to operate Bitcoin exchanges.
The four companies granted exchange licenses in this 2nd round include:
- FTT Corporation
- Bit Arg Exchange Tokyo Co. Ltd
- Xtheta Corporation
- Tokyo Bitcoin Exchange Co. Ltd
It is possible that other exchanges would soon be granted licensing as the JFSA has given some indication that it presently has some applications under review.
The latest actions of the Japanese regulators to expand the cryptocurrency space comes on the heels of Friday’s announcement by US regulators that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group (CME Group) and Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) would be allowed to list Bitcoin futures for trading on December 18, 2017. Similarly, the Moscow Exchange (Moex) has indicated its intentions to allow for the addition of Bitcoin to its existing asset base, pending regulatory approval.
Responding to this double combo of positive news for the increasingly popular cryptocurrency, prices of Bitcoin in early Asian trading surged to new highs of more than $11,800/BTC, before pulling back slightly to trade within a band of $10,440 to $11,380. Many experts believe that in the absence of any negative sentiment or profit-taking this week, Bitcoin would easily clear the $12,000 mark for the first time since it was launched nearly a decade ago.
With the trading of Bitcoin futures commencing in 2 weeks, it remains to be seen what this development will do to Bitcoin prices. In the US, Bitcoin is traded on Gemini and GDAX on a spot basis. The entrance of futures contracts featuring market maker positioning is something traders are not exactly used to. All that can be said here is that new and exciting things are bound to happen in the markets as the last trading month of the year kicks in.