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Widespread Crackdown On Japan's Crypto Exchanges

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Japan's financial regulator has made a widespread crackdown on the country's cryptocurrency exchanges to step up consumer protection in the wake of $530 million theft of digital money from Tokyo-based Coincheck.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) on Thursday ordered seven trading platforms to improve their system security measures and submit a written improvement plan by March 22.

The exchanges are Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, Mister Exchange, Bicrements, Coincheck, FSHO and Bit Station.

FSA also handed month-long suspension to two exchanges - FSHO and Bit Station - after discovering that their internal control systems were lacking, including adequate measures to counter money laundering and terrorism financing.

The Agency ordered the exchanges to make improvement in areas from risk management to preventing the criminal use of digital money.

This is the second time that FSA is sending a notice to Coincheck since it was targeted in the late-January heist.

Responding to FSA's measures, Coincheck CEO Koichiro Wada hinted at resignation, to take responsibility for the hack.

He told reporters that the exchange will from next week repay about 46 billion yen ($434 million) to investors who had lost digital money.

Coincheck would lift curbs on the trading of some cryptocurrencies imposed after the theft, he added.

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