TOKYO -- Japan will provide a framework for financial technology startups to test new services, helping identify legal complications and risks standing in the way of industry's growth.
The Financial Services Agency's fintech testing "hub" -- a precursor to a "regulatory sandbox" that the government is planning as a laboratory for deregulation -- could be in place as soon as this summer.
The tests are expected to cover such technologies as blockchain, which underpins the virtual currency bitcoin, as well as potential problems like money laundering.
Working with the Japanese Bankers Association, the FSA will serve as a liaison between fintech ventures and financial institutions. The agency already offers advice to startups, but sees the need to play a bigger part in coordinating testing of new services.
The tests are expected to last six months to two years and provide insights for commercializing fintech services.