Money Forward Financial is a Japanese business owned by the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company has a product called Money Forward Me, which is a personal finance accounting app used by 7 million people to date. Money Forward Me will add crypto trading functionality in the coming weeks, giving users a convenient way to integrate crypto into their conventional financial lives.
Western readers may be familiar with Personal Capital, the app in which users can bring together all of their financial data in one place. Like Personal Capital, Money Forward Me lets users interact with checking and savings accounts, investment accounts, credit cards, real estate holdings, and more, all within a single unified interface.
This bookkeeping tool is extremely convenient for keeping track of one’s finances in the complex modern world. No longer are these financial portals separated on different websites. With the upcoming exchange, Money Forward brings crypto under this same roof. To begin, users will be able to trade BTC, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum ETH. Live trading will be supported from day one. Additional cryptocurrencies and margin trading will not be available at launch but could be introduced later.
Why Money Forward Integration Matters
For its entire history, cryptocurrency has been fairly well cordoned off from the world of conventional finance. Consumers may have been able to dabble in Bitcoin, but trading fiat for Bitcoin (or trading back) was very difficult for many years – even impossible in certain markets. Interconnecting cryptocurrency transactions with traditional banking services was well nigh impossible for most.
That a Tokyo Stock Exchange-owned company is bringing crypto aboard with its conventional banking services could represent a sea change in one of the world’s most important blockchain markets. Money Forward’s existing banking services include accounting, tax return services, automated savings applications, invoices, payroll services, and data services for businesses.
Money Forward is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. After the introduction of crypto sales, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum will be fully accessible through a company within the Japanese stock market mainstream. We may not see Bitcoin BTC listed on the TSE for some time yet, but this is a major move towards crypto sector mainstream legitimacy.
Money Forward apparently had to struggle somewhat to get their plan approach by the Financial Services Agency (FSA). A single hack saw Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck lose hundreds of millions early this year, so Japan has been more cautious about allowing new domestic exchanges to trade in crypto.
A Money Forward representative expressed that FSA conversations have been proceeding smoothly and that he expects the exchange service to go live in March 2019. In fact, Yamane Hidero, formerly the inspector for the FSA, is now the leader of Money Forward’s internal control department.
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