Tags: Japan | Bitcoin

Japan Says Bitcoin Is Not a Currency Amid Calls for Regulation

Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 10:19 PM

Japan’s government said Bitcoin isn’t a currency amid calls for its regulation a week after the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange that was once the world’s biggest.

There is no law to define Bitcoin and relevant ministries are gathering information on it, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s cabinet said in a statement in response to questions from an opposition party lawmaker. Bitcoin transactions can be taxed, according to the statement obtained by Bloomberg News.

Japan isn’t the only country grappling with the regulation of Bitcoin. In the U.S., states are wrestling with how digital-currency businesses could be regulated as money transmitters, while Russia has said Bitcoin is illegal under current law and Finland plans to treat it as a commodity.

Japan’s banking law doesn’t allow lenders to broker Bitcoin transactions or set up accounts for customers to store the digital assets, according to the statement. Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Tsutomu Okubo, a former vice finance minister, called on the government to rectify the lack of regulation last week.

“The authorities’ stance that they don’t have responsibility is disgraceful,” Okubo, who also used to work at Morgan Stanley, said in a telephone interview on Feb. 26. “We need to establish a legal system.”

Mt. Gox Failure

Finance Minister Taro Aso said today that the government hasn’t decided whether to regulate Bitcoin. Earlier this week Aso, who also oversees the banking regulator, said it wasn’t clear yet whether Mt. Gox’s failure was a crime.

Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 28, saying 850,000 Bitcoins were missing and may have been stolen by hackers. The coins are valued at more than $550 million, based on an index of current prices compiled by Coindesk.

The digital currency was introduced in 2008 by a programmer or group of programmers under the name Satoshi Nakamoto and has since gained traction with merchants around the world. Dorian S. Nakamoto, a physicist identified by Newsweek magazine as Bitcoin’s creator, yesterday denied involvement in the digital currency before leading reporters on a multi-vehicle car chase and entering an Associated Press bureau.

Singapore’s finance minister said last month that the central bank didn’t recognize Bitcoin as legal tender. China has stopped financial institutions from dealing in it, even as trading continues. Danish regulators are drafting a proposal for lawmakers in an effort to protect consumers and businesses from losses.

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Asia
Japan’s government said Bitcoin isn’t a currency amid calls for its regulation a week after the bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, the Tokyo-based exchange that was once the world’s biggest.
Japan,Bitcoin
392
2014-19-06
Thursday, 06 Mar 2014 10:19 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved