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As China clamps down on crypto, Japan blind to personal transfers

Regulators struggle to keep up with crime in virtual game of cat and mouse

The same relative anonymity that has led to the success of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is often also exploited by criminal organizations.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- With global scrutiny growing over criminal use of cryptocurrency, personal transactions bypassing formal exchanges have emerged as a major weak spot in Japan.

Overseas, authorities have begun cracking down on illicit transactions with tools like payment-tracing software. China has even announced a ban on all cryptocurrency payments and services for disrupting the "economic and financial order," months after introducing tighter restrictions on crypto transactions and mining in preparation for launching its own digital currency.

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