February 6, 2018 / 6:51 AM / a year ago

BOJ urges cryptocurrency operators to boost security

FILE PHOTO: A logo of Bitcoin is seen on an advertisement of an electronic shop in Tokyo, Japan September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - A senior Bank of Japan official said on Tuesday providers of cryptocurrency-related services must be proactive in boosting security for their services and explaining to investors the risks associated with trading.

“At present, cryptocurrencies are used mostly for investment and speculative trading with usage for settlement purposes rare,” BOJ Executive Director Shigehiro Kuwabara said in a speech at the bank’s forum on financial settlement systems.

“But the incident made people realize anew how important it is to ensure the safety and stability of settlement and financial services,” said Kuwabara, who oversees the BOJ’s department in charge of cryptocurrency research.

Coincheck, one of Japan’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, said last month it had about 58 billion yen ($532 million) worth of virtual coins stolen in a theft that highlighted the vulnerabilities in trading an asset policymakers are struggling to regulate.

Reporting by Leika KiharaEditing by Chang-Ran Kim

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