Japan’s largest financial group, MUFG, is preparing a service that will secure bitcoin adopters’ holdings against any failure or losses suffered by the cryptocurrency exchanges they use.
In what could be the first trust service of its kind anywhere in the world, the Mitsubishi UFJ Trust is preparing to offer bitcoin holders a service wherein their bitcoins are placed in a trust, separate from their cryptocurrency exchange’s assets. Japan has emerged among the world’s largest bitcoin trading markets despite the seismic collapse of Mt Gox in 2014, once the world’s largest bitcoin exchange.
In the event of any failure, mishandling or wrongdoing by the exchange’s operator, the security of holders’ bitcoins will be guaranteed by the trust bank. Mitsubishi UFJ Trust, a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, has already applied for the relevant patent protection, the Nikkei reports.
Bitcoin traders will need to opt-in for the service while trading at exchanges, allowing Mitsubishi UFJ Trust to monitor their accounts. The trust bank will reportedly flag suspicious activity and examine pending transactions. “A late-night sale of a huge amount of bitcoins, for instance, would get flagged for inspection instead of being processed immediately,” an excerpt from the report explains.
Mitsubishi UFJ trust will maintain logs of users’ transactions that used to guarantee will be ‘used to guarantee the safety of holders’ bitcoins’ in the event of any operator-based incident leading to losses. However, holders will not be secured from losses against price volatility.
While the service will entail a fee for users signing up with the financial giant, “customers will feel peace of mind knowing that a trust bank is managing their assets,” explained Noriyuki Hirosue, CEO of Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange.
The trust bank’s service will only be available to bitcoin traders at launch, tentatively in April 2018. Notably, the asset management service will only take shape after Japan’s Financial Services Agency – the country’s financial regulator and watchdog – recognizes cryptocurrencies as an asset akin to real estate or securities that can be placed in a trust.