New FSA commissioner for Japan is pro-crypto

New FSA commissioner for Japan is pro-crypto

By Benson Toti - min read

The Japanese Government is set to appoint Ryozo Himino as the Financial Services Agency’s next commissioner

A crypto-friendly official has been announced as the next leader of the Financial Services Agency (FSA) of Japan.

Jiji Press, a Japanese news outlet, reported on July 7 that the national government had made the decision to appoint Ryozo Himino as the next commissioner of the FSA. The FSA itself has yet to confirm the news with an announcement of its own, but is expected to release one later this month.

Himino is currently the International Financial Deputy Counselor. Last September, he became the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) first Japanese Chairman of the Standing Committee.

It is widely believed that Himino is sympathetic towards the crypto industry. He played an instrumental role in the FSA’s decision to invite Adam Back of Blockstream to a seminar last June, which was held alongside the G20 Fukuoka. The goal was to provide an opportunity for several stakeholders to meet at the G20 and discuss the potential of blockchain for developing decentralized financial systems.

At this point in time, the FSA recognized Back as someone who was passionate about changing the world with cryptography, as well as “a legendary cypherpunk.”

The current head of the FSA, Toshihide Endo, is also known for being sympathetic towards cryptocurrencies. He was featured in a tweet by Anthony Pompliano of Morgan Creek, with the caption reading: “Japan’s Financial Services Agency is a big proponent of Bitcoin and Lightning Network.”

However, the FSA seems to have taken a more cautious stance towards the crypto industry during his term, especially after two controversial crypto-related laws were introduced last May. The FSA has also reduced the leverage cap to 2x for cryptocurrency margin trading.

In Himino’s opening remarks for the Second Roundtable on Supervisory Oversight of Crypto-assets held in Tokyo last September, he emphasised the importance of the Libra project.

“I cannot predict at this stage whether the Libra project will be a viable one or not. However, I think that Libra serves as a ringing alarm clock to us all,” he explained.

In his speech, he discusses the role of banks, cash notes, and regulators and supervisors in a world teetering on the brink of a new financial system.

“Libra’s alarm bell is now making regulators and central bankers open their eyes and see squarely the issues they need to face sooner or later. And many other clocks may be waiting to ring next.”