Bitcoin came off earlier highs of about $9,000 by afternoon trading on Thursday, March 22, to about $8,600 for most of the day. The No. 1 cryptocurrency in the world was joined in to the downside by a majority of the other top digital assets.
These are the headlines you can't miss on Thursday.
Japan to Warn Exchange
The Japanese Financial Services Agency will warn Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance about its operations, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Binance, which is reportedly believed to be the world's biggest crypto exchange operator, has allegedly been operating in Japan without a license. The Financial Services Agency was said to have concluded that Binance users could be subject to significant financial losses from the likes of theft or fraud. If Binance does not quit its operations in Japan, the country is likely to pursue criminal charges against the platform.
UK Crypto Task Force
The government of the U.K. plans to create a "crypto asset task force," the Treasury Office said Thursday. The task force, which is expected to be detailed at the government's second annual Fintech Conference Thursday, will include representatives from the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority and the Treasury. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said in a statement that the task force will "help the U.K. to manage the risks around crypto assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology." The U.K. government has been enthusiastic about blockchain in recent months but has expressed concern over cryptocurrencies specifically. Both Prime Minister Theresa May and Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney have appealed for regulation of cryptocurrencies.
Accenture: U.S. Can Still Innovate
David Treat, managing director and co-head of the Global Blockchain Practice at Accenture PLC (ACN) , said at an event in Washington that the U.S. government could still be a leader in testing and implementing blockchain solutions, Coindesk reported. Treat said that government interest in blockchain has created an "unprecedented degree of participation and collaboration." Accenture has recently focused its own blockchain initiatives on digital identity projects. "Ultimately, it's important that how we modernize digital identity satisfies all of the needs of what a nation-state needs as well as an individual, and we think the solution pattern we're deigning and starting to build really threads that needle and can satisfy both," Treat told Coindesk.
Japan Traders Lost $6 Million in Hacks
Japanese cryptocurrency traders lost about $6.2 million in hacking attacks last year, the Nikkei reported. The $6.2 million was confiscated through hacks to exchange accounts and to wallet services in Japan in 2017, data from the Japanese National Police Agency reportedly showed. There were at least 149 cases of hacking in Japan last year and 16 cryptocurrency exchanges were affected along with three wallet operators. Bitcoin was the biggest target for hackers in the country, with an estimated 85 bitcoin stolen. About 120 of the reported cases didn't include some kind of extra security, the report showed.