Bitcoin tumbles after Japan watchdog orders exchanges to review business practices

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Bitcoin prices fell more than 5 percent on Friday after a regulatory agency in Japan ordered several cryptocurrency exchanges to review their business practices.

The digital currency traded at $6,349 as of 7:45 a.m. ET, breaking below $6,400 for the first time in about a week.

The order from Japan’s Financial Services Agency, led bitFlyer — the largest crypto exchange in Japan — to suspend the creation of new accounts while it makes improvements to its business, especially as it pertains to its money-laundering measures.

Bitcoin’s Friday performance

Source: CoinDesk

“Our management and all employees are united in our understanding of how serious these issues are, as well as how serious we are in responding to them going forward,” bitFlyer said in a statement on their website.

“In order to maximize our efforts towards building a suitable service and improving on the issues identified, we have temporarily suspended account creation for new customers of our own volition,” bitFlyer said.

The agency gave the same order to five other other exchanges after finding weaknesses in their anti-money laundering controls.

“In the long run this is good for the ecosystem,” Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of BKCM said in an email to clients.” In the short run it reduces the flow of new capital…which is bad.”

—Reuters contributed to this report.

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