May 29, 2023

Japan to Enforce Crypto Travel Rule from June 1st

Japan to Enforce Crypto Travel Rule from June 1st
  • Japan's enforcement of the Crypto Travel Rule from June 1st, 2023, marks a significant step in tightening cryptocurrency regulations.
  • The new regulations, while promising increased transparency and trust in the market, may also pose challenges to privacy and operational changes.
  • Shyft Veriscope, with its strategic partnership with Sygna, emerges as the best frictionless Travel Rule Solution, balancing regulatory compliance, cost-efficiency, and user privacy.

In the world of technology and innovation, Japan has always been a front-runner, setting trends that many follow. 

With a unique blend of technological adeptness and a robust economy, the country continues to maintain its global significance, and its latest move in the cryptocurrency domain is no exception.

Starting June 1st, 2023, Japan will enforce stringent Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations to further refine and intensify the oversight of cryptocurrency transactions while supporting the crypto economy. 

Announced by the Japanese parliament on May 23, this decision exemplifies the nation's proactive efforts to align with global crypto regulations more effectively and exhibits the state’s adaptability to the evolving financial regulatory requirements.

More on the topic: The Most Googled Questions on FATF Travel Rule Answered

Work in Progress Since March 2021

In a regulatory journey spanning over a year, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) received a request in March 2021 from the Financial Services Agency (FSA) to introduce self-regulatory rules concerning the "crypto Travel Rule." 

This was followed by the JVCEA incorporating these rules in April 2022, which further led to the enforcement of the crypto Travel Rule through an amendment to the Act on Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds (APTCP) in December 2022.

Later, to clarify how the "crypto Travel Rule" applies to Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs), the FSA initiated a consultation process on these guidelines, signifying its intent to uphold transparency and dialogue within the crypto ecosystem. 

And by March 2023, the FSA concluded its public consultation on APTCP guidelines, and now, in June, the Travel Rule will soon be officially enforced in Japan. In a country where cryptocurrencies have been adopted legally, the implications of these new AML regulations are far-reaching.  

The Impact on Crypto Ecosystem

The enforcement of the Travel Rule in Japan is set to cast a wide net of implications across the cryptocurrency landscape. For starters, it may infuse a greater degree of trust in the cryptocurrency market. 

By taking stringent measures against potential illicit activities, the rule can effectively alleviate some of the concerns existing and potential users might have about the crypto industry. This could increase crypto use and investment, lending greater liquidity and stability to the market.

Moreover, the Travel Rule brings the promise of heightened transparency. The mandate for exchange providers to share crypto sender and receiver information allows for a more open view of transaction flows. This could significantly reduce fraudulent activities and make it difficult for malicious actors to exploit the system, fostering a safer trading environment. 

Despite these positives, there are some contradictions not to be ignored. 

For instance, for many crypto users, the allure of cryptocurrencies lies in the anonymity they offer. 

But with the new regulations in place, this veil of anonymity gets partially lifted, potentially dissuading some users and investors. This loss of anonymity could slow down the growth of the crypto market in Japan, at least in the short term.

However, it's important to note that the effect of the Travel Rule on users' privacy and businesses' operations will largely depend on the nature of the platform and the Travel Rule solution they employ.

Choice of Travel Rule Solution

The choice of a Travel Rule solution can substantially impact the user experience and the level of privacy maintained in these transactions.

One promising approach is the adoption of a fully automated, peer-to-peer Travel Rule solution, like Shyft Veriscope. It allows for the necessary data exchange between VASPs without storing any sensitive user information on its servers. This approach not only mitigates the risk of data breaches but also restricts any third-party access, thereby adding an extra layer of privacy protection.

Moreover, Shyft Veriscope's fully automated nature ensures that user experience remains positive and seamless, an essential factor that could influence users' decision to continue engaging with the crypto market amidst these regulatory changes.

Ultimately, the choice of the Travel Rule solution becomes a critical determinant in striking the right balance between adhering to regulatory standards and preserving user privacy and experience. This will be a key factor in shaping the impact of the new regulations on both users and businesses in the crypto sphere.

CEX vs DEX: How do They Fare Under Japan's Travel Rule?

For Centralized Exchanges, which already have strict Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols in place, the impact may not be substantial. After all, these platforms already possess much of the required information about their users, minimizing the effect of these new regulations on their operations and user experience.

On the other hand, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) platforms, known for their anonymity and less stringent KYC procedures, may face a greater challenge. The enforcement of the Travel Rule could disrupt the degree of privacy users enjoy on these platforms, potentially affecting their appeal to a certain user base.

So, while this regulatory change is undoubtedly transformative, it's also diverse in its impact, affecting different areas of the crypto ecosystem to varying degrees. This difference, in effect, underscores the importance of a Travel Rule solution that can navigate these challenges while preserving user privacy and experience.

Comparatively Higher Threshold

Another noteworthy aspect of Japan's enforcement of the Travel Rule is the transaction threshold set at $3,000. This means the rule will only apply to transactions exceeding this limit. This is a significant figure, higher than many other countries' thresholds for applying similar AML regulations.

This relatively high threshold could have important implications for the crypto market in Japan. Smaller, everyday transactions, which constitute a large volume of crypto activity, will remain largely unaffected by these new regulations. This allows a significant portion of crypto users to continue enjoying the benefits of anonymity and ease of transactions they are accustomed to.

However, for larger transactions, the enforcement of the Travel Rule will necessitate more stringent information-sharing and verification processes. While this could potentially slow down transaction times and complicate the process for some users, it will also provide added security and transparency, helping to protect users against fraud and other illicit activities.

For crypto businesses, compliance with the Travel Rule means embracing operational changes. As such, the rule necessitates significant investments in infrastructural upgrades and personnel training to meet the new regulatory standards. This could impose a heavy burden on smaller businesses and startups, which might struggle to keep up with these requirements. 

More on the topic: Demystifying the FATF Travel Rule: Your Most Googled Questions Answered - Part 2

How Should VASPs Comply?

With the impending enforcement of the Travel Rule in Japan, VASPs are faced with the challenging task of choosing a Travel Rule Solution. 

Although the FATF doesn't advocate for a specific compliance solution or method, VASPs have a moral duty to choose a solution that seamlessly navigates the intricate compliance requirements while preserving user privacy and experience. Shyft Veriscope ticks all the boxes. 

Not only does Shyft Veriscope demonstrate cost-efficiency when compared to other available options in the market, but it is also a one-of-a-kind solution. As we highlighted above, being a Peer-to-Peer Travel Rule Solution, Shyft Veriscope blends efficiency and regulatory compliance without infringing upon user experience or privacy. 

Shyft Veriscope's appeal in the evolving Japanese crypto market is further strengthened by Shyft’s strategic partnership with Sygna, a well-regarded name in the realm of crypto AML compliance services with a robust presence in Japan. 

The result is a solution that moves beyond mere compliance, addressing the “sunrise issue” of the Travel Rule and nudging the crypto industry closer towards full interoperability.

More details here: Shyft Veriscope - The Critical Infrastructure Underpinning FATF Travel Rule

Frequently Asked Questions on Japan Enforcing Crypto Travel Rule

Q1: When will the Crypto Travel Rule be enforced in Japan?

The Crypto Travel Rule will be enforced in Japan from June 1st. The Japanese parliament announced the decision on May 23, aligning Japan more effectively with global crypto regulations.

Q2: How will the Crypto Travel Rule impact crypto users in Japan?

The Crypto Travel Rule will inject more trust and transparency into the cryptocurrency market, potentially increasing cryptocurrency usage and investment. However, the rule may also deter some users and investors as it partially lifts the veil of anonymity associated with cryptocurrencies.

Q3: What does implementing the Crypto Travel Rule mean for crypto businesses in Japan?

For crypto businesses, the Crypto Travel Rule means they will need to undergo operational changes to comply with the new regulations. This includes significant investments in infrastructural upgrades and personnel training to meet the new regulatory standards.

Q4: What is the role of the Financial Services Agency (FSA) in implementing the Crypto Travel Rule in Japan?

The FSA is the primary regulatory body overseeing the implementation of the Crypto Travel Rule in Japan. It works in collaboration with self-regulatory entities such as the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) and the Japan Security Token Offering Association (JSTOA) to develop policies and rules that shape the cryptocurrency landscape in the country.

Final Note

The Travel Rule brings a significant shift towards a safer and more transparent crypto market in Japan, but not without impacting some of the very elements that made cryptocurrencies attractive to a certain segment of users and businesses.

As the industry adapts to these regulatory shifts, the long-term implications will largely hinge on the evolution of this new paradigm and the ensuing global trends.

However, amidst this sea of changes, one thing remains crystal clear: Japan, the "Land of the Rising Sun," is taking a proactive and exemplary stance in tackling regulatory challenges.

Therefore, as countries across the globe grapple with the intricacies of crypto regulation, they can look towards Japan's progressive strides for valuable insights and guidance.


Shyft Network powers trust on the blockchain and economies of trust. It is a public protocol designed to drive data discoverability and compliance into blockchain while preserving privacy and sovereignty. SHFT is its native token and fuel of the network.

Shyft Network facilitates the transfer of verifiable data between centralized and decentralized ecosystems. It sets the highest crypto compliance standard and provides the only frictionless Crypto Travel Rule compliance solution while ensuring user data is protected.

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