In response to a reported increase in the illicit use of cryptocurrencies, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) plans to introduce new software which can track cryptocurrency transaction history, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization NHK reported August 30.
In 2019, the National Police Agency will reportedly put special software into service to track the history of virtual currency transactions within the country. The move comes as part of an effort to fight the increased level of cryptocurrency misuse and thefts.
In order to cover the expense of the new software, the NPA is looking to increase its budget by 35 million yen (around $315,000) for the next fiscal year.
The software was developed by a private company, the name of which has not been disclosed. According to the NHK, the software can extract transaction data needed for an investigation, visualize it from open records, and show what crypto exchange operators used the currency for.
Earlier this month, Tokyo-based security software manufacturer Trend Micro found Bitcoin (BTC) automated teller machine (ATM) malware available for purchase online. For the price of $25,000, criminals could purchase BTC ATM malware accompanied by a ready-to-use card with EMV and near-field communication capabilities, allowing fraudsters to receive the BTC equivalent of up to 6,750 U.S. dollars, euros, or pounds.
Last week, the commissioner of Japan’s financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), said that the agency wants the cryptocurrency industry to “grow under appropriate regulation,” adding that it has “no intention to curb [the crypto industry] excessively.” The FSA’s goal is reportedly to develop the crypto industry and find a “balance” between consumer protection and technological innovation.
Prior to that, the FSA revealed the results of its on-site inspections of crypto exchange operators, noting that “substantial” ongoing review of registration procedures will be necessary. The FSA probe found that crypto exchanges’ maintenance and control systems had failed to keep pace with exponential growth in transaction volumes.