Tokyo to create blockchain startup accelerator

Tokyo, Japan, is organizing a new blockchain-focused startup which is to officially start in January
26 October 2017   1447

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) is to hold the "Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo" accelerator program for foreign companies that possess advanced blockchain technology in such areas as transactions, securities, IoT, supply chains and the sharing economy. As reported, the TMG aims at this intensive three-month program to generate groundbreaking innovation.

    In general, the development is a great milestone for Japan as this spring, lawmakers finalized and passed a law recognizing Bitcoin as a kind of payment method, setting the stage for a number of companies in the country to trial accepting it in stores. In addition, last month, regulators issued licenses to 11 Bitcoin exchanges.

    As detailed, the application period for the accelerator will last until November 24. Five companies are expected to join, and those selected will be notified in December ahead of the program's commencement the following month.

    The technologies and services of the foreign companies participating in the program (about five companies) will be advertised for an extended period using digital signage located around Shinjuku and Tokyo stations in the heart of Tokyo, and support will be extended to foreign companies that decide to establish their business in Tokyo.

    Tokyo Metropolitan Government

    The accelerator will last until March, according to statements.

    • October 20, 2017: Begin accepting applications
    • November 24, 2017: Application deadline
    • December 2017: Announcement of companies selected for the program (about five companies)
    • January 2018: Introductory seminar
    • January - March 2018: Blockchain Business Camp Tokyo (mentoring, creating a business plan, networking event(s), connecting with businesses in Tokyo)
    • March 2018: Presentation of business plans (open to the public)

    New York State to Revise BitLicense Granting Terms

    At the moment, BitLicense is the most stringent legal framework for the cryptocurrency industry
    23 October 2019   14

    The terms for granting the so-called BitLicense, the license required for cryptocurrency companies to work in New York State, will be reviewed. This was stated by the superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Linda Lacewell, reports CoinDesk.

    BitLicense is considered the most stringent legal framework for the cryptocurrency industry at the state level. In particular, companies are required to receive it for cryptocurrency transactions of New Yorkers, even if they themselves are based in other jurisdictions.

    Last year, Kraken, a San Francisco-based exchange, chose not to receive BitLicense, but to completely leave New York. Earlier this year, the Bittrex exchange (Seattle) also left the state without licensing.

    This is a good time to take a look, a responsible look and see how our regime is fitting the current market and … what if any adjustments should we think about making to continue to adapt to sort of a changing industry … that’s going to be one of the things that [we do].

    Linda Lacewell

    Superintendent, New York Department of Financial Services

    At the same time, she called not to “be too happy” about possible changes in the rules for the cryptocurrency industry.

    According to her, the current regulatory regime “works well,” but the industry has changed since 2015, when BitLicense was introduced.

    How has the industry grown? Has it matured in any way? And I don’t want to get too specific, but you know, it’s a good time for a second look.

    Linda Lacewell

    Superintendent, New York Department of Financial Services

     Lacewell did not specify when the revision of licensing terms will be completed and what exactly industry participants can expect in the end.

    Since the introduction of the license until June 2018, only 6 companies have received BitLicense, but over the past 20 months, after the regulator has softened its position, 16 more companies have been added to their number.