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2 Japan cryptocurrency groups to merge, create regulatory body

Two Japanese cryptocurrency industry groups agreed to merge and set up a self-regulatory body to better protect clients' assets and system risks, The Nikkei reported.

Japan Blockchain Association and the Japan Cryptocurrency Business Association will merge and launch a new entity April 1. Taizen Okuyam, chairman of the latter, is likely to become chairman of the new organization. Okuyam is president of Money Partners Group, a foreign exchange business operator.

Talks about integrating the two bodies came after hackers stole US$530 million worth of NEM coins from Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange operator Coincheck Inc.

The new organization plans to create self-imposed rules on protecting clients' assets, as well as insider trading and system trouble. Once the Financial Services Agency approves the new regulatory body, it will be able to set penalties for any rule breaches.