As Japan continues to force the country’s cryptocurrency entities to play by more rules, it is facing an increasing number of consumer complaints. This is a good thing, at least for now, because it shows that the rules are working and that consumers better understand the regulatory implications of violating the rules. According to Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), the number of consumer complaints related to crypto has increased by 69% from 2017 to 2018.
In its “White Paper on Consumer Affairs 2018,” the CAA shows that there were 3.657 complaints last year, compared to the 2,166 seen a year earlier. This represents a numerical increase, but a year-on-year decrease when compared to previous periods. Prior to 2018, the year-on-year growth of complaints was sometimes more than three times the previous year.
In addition to the number of complaints indicating a rise in awareness and adoption, it could also simply come from a decline in crypto values last year. A separate report that was prepared by ValuePenguin last summer showed that, as the prices dropped in the U.S., the number of complaints spiked. The major complaint—which accounted for 40% of all issues—was a lack of availability of funds when promised by exchanges. There were also grievances about opening or closing accounts, fraud and various other transaction or service issues.
The complaints ran a gambit of causes, including privacy violations, poor user interfaces, lack of refunds or loss of funds due to platform issues and more. Some crypto traders also complained that certain exchanges were fraudulently advertising their products, not delivering purchases and not allowing deposits to be withdrawn.
Now that the details have been consolidated, the complaints can be more easily addressed. Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) will undoubtedly get involved, working with the CAA to investigate the claims and, if necessary, hold the crypto firms accountable.
Japan is already taking on more responsibility with regards to crypto exchanges and other businesses. The country is working on legislation that will provide better oversight, and the FSA is going to introduce stricter controls on the space. Those controls are designed to appeal to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and to help the FSA receive a more favorable rating from the group.
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