Morningstar Japan Starts Ratings Business for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

Morningstar Japan Starts Ratings Business for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs

The Japanese subsidiary of Morningstar has launched a new business to provide ratings of digital currencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs). While there is no law in Japan specifically targeting ICOs, their tokens can be subject to various laws such as securities laws and consumer contract law.

Also read: Putin Tells Central Bank Not to Create Unnecessary Barriers to Cryptocurrencies

Morningstar Japan’s Crypto and ICO Ratings

The Tokyo-based financial information provider, Morningstar Japan, announced on Wednesday the start of its new ratings business for digital currencies and ICOs.

Morningstar Japan Starts Ratings Business for Cryptocurrencies and ICOsMorningstar Japan is a subsidiary of the Chicago-based Morningstar Inc. The subsidiary develops and market products and services customized for the Japanese market. Its shares are traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Its parent company provides a few ratings services including the “Sustainability Ratings for Funds” which was launched last year. The ratings help investors evaluate over 35,000 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) globally, worth $27 trillion in assets under management.

Morningstar Japan Starts Ratings Business for Cryptocurrencies and ICOsThe company explained that there is no ICO regulation in Japan and “investor protection is inadequate.” In addition, when investing in digital currencies, investors often make investment decisions “with only a small amount of information and biased information.” With whitepapers issued by ICO companies, “investors cannot easily judge the accuracy and authenticity of the item,” Morningstar claimed.

In its announcement, the company stated that it has developed a method of evaluating cryptocurrencies and ICOs, utilizing their expertise in evaluating investment trusts and bonds. In addition to the rating business, the company plans to set up a digital currency portal site by the year’s end to provide other information such as related news and digital currency exchange comparison information.

Digital Currencies and ICOs in Japan

Since the government legalized bitcoin as a method of payment in April, the use of cryptocurrencies in Japan has been fast-growing. Recently, eleven digital currency exchanges were granted legal status by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Saito So, a lawyer specializing in digital currency and blockchain technology, said at an ICO Conference sponsored by Anypay on October 5 that:

There are no laws targeting ICOs itself in Japan.

Morningstar Japan Starts Ratings Business for Cryptocurrencies and ICOs
Saito So of So Law Office, Japan.

However, he noted that ICO tokens may be subject to the current securities laws, so it is necessary to judge whether they are considered securities.

While some say that digital currencies are also securities under the Japanese Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, So noted that “if there is no dividend or revenue distribution like a stock by holding a token, it is unlikely that it will fall under the current regulation.” However, for tokens where dividends or revenue are distributed, there is a possibility they will be regulated as an investment fund, he elaborated.

So also pointed out that the definition of a fund is “to collect money from others, to invest in the business, to pay dividends to investors, etc.” It is not “money,” therefore, if an ICO is funded by bitcoin or ether, it is not a fund by definition. Nonetheless, he said there is a possibility that ICOs will be subject to regulation in the future, especially if they are misused.

Furthermore, an ICO contract could be canceled and compensation for damages may occur based on consumer contract law and civil law. Subsequently, he suggested that ICO token issuers should consider all relevant laws such as the virtual currency law, the prepaid payment instrument regulation, and the fund regulation.

What do you think of Morningstar Japan’s new ratings business for digital currencies and ICOs? Do you think Japan will soon come up with specific laws for ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Morningstar, and So Law Office.


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Litecoin Price Analysis – Bull trend losing steam

Litecoin (LTC) now has a market cap of US$2.68 billion, up from US$206 million in April of this year. After posting a new all time high in the beginning of September, the market has retraced and largely trended sideways.Litecoin hash rate and difficulty continue to rise steadily on the SegWit enabled network. The Litecoin block reward is due to halve around August 2019. LTC transfers about a tenth of the transactions processed by either Bitcoin (BTC) or ETH per day.

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Globitex Launch Token Sale for Spot and Derivatives Exchange in Bitcoin

The project, which is co-founded by former Executive Director and Founding Board Member of the Bitcoin Foundation Jon Matonis, aims to scale …

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GBP/USD – Pound Inches Lower, Markets Await Fed Minutes

The British pound is showing little movement in the Wednesday session. In North American trade, GBP/USD is trading at 1.3187, down 0.11% on the day. On the release front, today’s highlight is the Federal Reserve minutes from the September policy meeting. Today’s highlight is the Federal Reserve minutes from the September policy meeting. As well, JOLTS Job Openings is expected to ease slightly to 6.13 million.

Despite pessimistic forecasts from the Bank of England and some analysts, the British economy has weathered the Brexit storm and remains in good shape. However, the Brexit talks have been difficult, and the British and European negotiators remain far apart on a range of key issues, such as the amount that Britain will pay to the EU when it leaves the club. The British government continues to put on a brave face and insists that the talks have made progress, but European negotiators have sounded less enthusiastic. If significant progress is not made by the end of the year, there will be further pressure on Prime Minister May to take Britain out of the EU without a deal. Senior British ministers are divided in their approach to Brexit, which will only make it more difficult for negotiators to hammer out a deal.

The markets are keeping a close eye on the Federal Reserve, which will release its minutes from the September meeting. At the meeting, the Fed did not raise interest rates  but did announce it would begin trimming its $4.2 billion balance sheet in October. This is seen as a vote of confidence in the US economy, which continues to show strong growth. At time of the September meeting, the odds of December rate hike were pegged around 50 percent. However, the odds have now surged to 91 percent. The primary reason for the huge shift in market sentiment can be attributed to Fed policymakers coming out in support of a rate hike, notably Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The lack of inflation remains the most significant impediment to raising rates, but Yellen and other FOMC members have insisted that strong economic conditions will lead to higher inflation levels. Even if inflation does not move higher before 2018, the Fed now appears ready to raise rates for a third and final time this year.

 

GBP/USD Fundamentals

Wednesday (October 11)

  • 10:00 US JOLTS Job Openings. Estimate 6.13M
  • 13:01 US 10-year Bond Auction
  • 14:00 US FOMC Minutes
  • 19:01 British RICS House Price Balance. Estimate 4%

Thursday (October 12)

  • 4:30 British BoE Credit Conditions Survey
  • 8:30 US PPI. Estimate 0.4%
  • 8:00 US Unemployment Claims. Estimate 251K

*All release times are GMT

*Key events are in bold

 

GBP/USD for Wednesday, October 11, 2017

GBP/USD October 10 at 8:10 EDT

Open: 1.3203 High: 1.3222 Low: 1.3176 Close: 1.3187

 

GBP/USD Technical

S1 S2 S1 R1 R2 R3
1.2904 1.3022 1.3121 1.3224 1.3347 1.3514

GBP/USD has showed limited movement in the Asian and European sessions

  • 1.3121 is providing support
  • 1.3224 is a weak resistance line. It could be tested in the North American session

Further levels in both directions:

  • Below: 1.3121, 1.3022 and 1.2904
  • Above: 1.3224, 1.3347, 1.3444 and 1.3514
  • Current range: 1.3121 to 1.3224

OANDA’s Open Positions Ratio

GBP/USD ratio has shown little movement this week. Currently, long and short positions are an even split, indicating a lack of trader bias as to which direction GBP/USD will take next.

This article is for general information purposes only. It is not investment advice or a solution to buy or sell securities. Opinions are the authors; not necessarily that of OANDA Corporation or any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, officers or directors. Leveraged trading is high risk and not suitable for all. You could lose all of your deposited funds.

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Bullish XRP Price Momentum Continues as $0.3 is in Sight

TheMerkle XRP Price 0.3Not much is happening in the world of cryptocurrency right now, even though we have seen a good amount of bullish momentum yesterday. Things are a bit quieter today, although the XRP price is still doing some impressive things as we speak. Thanks to another 4.58% increase in the past 24 hours, things look pretty solid. At this rate, it takes little effort to push the XRP price to $0.30. XRP Price Keeps Rising Sharply No one can deny the XRP price has seen some significant action throughout 2017. The first 10 months of this year have been pretty positive

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