Interest in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin tumbled 13.9% in Japan, according to the country’s financial regulator.
In data posted Sept. 3, the Financial Services Agency (FSA) says the volume of crypto-related inquiries fell in the latest quarter. The office handled 494 inquiries about crypto assets in the second quarter ended June 30.
That’s a 13.9% decline from the 574 inquiries it handled in the previous quarter ended March 30. Moreover, the office received 89 complaints about fraudulent investment offers.
FSA cracks down on crypto exchanges
The drop in the number of crypto-related consultations suggests that interest in cryptocurrencies is waning in Japan. However, the decline could be related to the FSA’s recent crackdowns on bitcoin exchanges.
As CCN.com reported in May, the Financial Services Agency is targeting bitcoin exchanges that don’t adequately confirm their clients’ identities or offer anonymous transactions. It’s part of a sweeping program to stem money-laundering.
Japan has recently been roiled by money-laundering and hacking scandals. To fix this, the FSA is inspecting the nation’s anti-money laundering protocols over the next few months.
Bitcoin evangelist: FSA wants bitcoin to succeed
Meanwhile, bitcoin evangelist Anthony Pompliano insists the FSA remains bullish about BTC.
In a Sept. 3 tweet, Pompliano claims that “Japan’s Financial Services Agency is a big proponent of Bitcoin and Lightning Network.”
Pompliano added that the FSA executives he met with in Japan “want to see Bitcoin/LN succeed.”
Moreover, he claims that Japan wants to position itself as a world leader in the budding crypto industry.
Bitcoin price rebounds after slump
Elsewhere in Asia, the Chinese state media denied rumors that China is launching a central bank-backed cryptocurrency in November.
In a terse rebuttal, the Global Times dismissed a recent Forbes report as “inaccurate speculation.” Neither the Times nor the People’s Bank of China (the nation’s central bank) elaborated further.
Meanwhile, the bitcoin price is slowly rebounding after three weeks of declines.
During the recent slump, bitcoin permabull Max Keiser pumped the market by setting a $28,000 bitcoin price target. Keiser cited Game Theory and BTC’s rising hash rate for his extravagant projection.
Fellow bitcoin bull Raoul Pal hyped FOMO by urging his followers to buy now before prices soar again.
Yesterday, Pal tweeted his frustration at the pessimism expressed by forlorn traders. Pal lamented that “I’ve never had this many bearish comments” from fellow bitcoiners.
Click here for a real-time bitcoin price chart.