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Japanese authorities recognize Bitcoin as legal tender

The new law adopted in Japan allows using Bitcoin as a legal tender. Any company will be able to obtain a license to use the cryptocurrency from April, but they will have to pay $300,000 and undergo a tax audit.

The Japanese authorities will approve Bitcoin as the legal tender in April 2017. Japanese companies will be expected to pay $300,000 to obtain the license, but there is no guarantee to return this money in case of not getting it. The company is required to have at least $100,000 in reserve currency. According to Sputnik International, authorities have deliberately set steep prices in order to restrict access to the legal bitcoin market for small companies and individuals.

The companies will have to carry out other requirements to prove that they do not use cryptocurrency for criminal purposes. In particular, they will have to undergo regular checks by a tax agency.

The question of such initiative in Japan came up a year ago. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party had proposed a bill that time, equating Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to the legal means of payment.

The rigidity of regulation is due to the fact that the cryptocurrency owners were victims of a large-scale fraud in 2014. The Bitcoin exchanger Mt.Gox suddenly stopped working, causing many users to lose large amounts of money. They were unable to claim compensation in a court because Bitcoin were not recognized as a tangible property. In the same year, Japanese banks and other companies banned transactions in bitcoins.

Last year, the Japanese insurance company Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance provided a package of services that covered losses at Bitcoin exchangers, but ordinary users still could not rely on the protection of their investments in cryptocurrency. The bitcoin is widely used in the country, not only for the purchase of goods in the online stores but also for the payment of utilities. About 5,000 entrepreneurs and online stores are paid in Bitcoin in Japan. The turnover of Bitcoin has increased in recent months. Between April and December 2016, the number of owners of the digital currency increased by 62,000.

The Japan Financial Services agency also planned to introduce a regulation for the virtual currency in autumn of 2016. Under its terms, companies, which create computer games in Japan, have to provide virtual currency for real one.


  • February 22, 2017 5:01 PM MSK