Japan to warn Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance: source

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s financial watchdog plans to issue a warning against Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange Binance for operating in Japan without being registered, a person with the direct knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

The Financial Services Agency (FSA) will file a criminal complaint if the exchange does not stop operating despite the planned warning, the person told Reuters.

The FSA’s plan was first reported by Japan’s Nikkei business daily.

Changpeng Zhao, chief executive of Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, tweeted that the company was in talks with the FSA.

“We are in constructive dialogs with Japan FSA, and have not received any mandates,” he tweeted.

“It does not make sense for JFSA to tell a newspaper before telling us, while we have an active dialog going on with them.”

Zhao could not immediately be reached for additional comment.

Japan last year made it mandatory for cryptocurrency exchanges to be registered, and the FSA last month issued a warning to Macau-based Blockchain Laboratory for operating without registration.

Reporting by Takahiko Wada; Writing by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Richard Borsuk and Alison Williams