In two months time, Bitcoin will be a legally recognized method of payment in Japan. The bill has recently passed through the period of public consultation, and already has provisions for cryptocurrencies consultation that will enter into force in a few weeks!
Though Bitcoin is being used all over the world in the internet market, its legal position in Japan has not been clear. Last March, the first bill that consists of provisions for virtual currencies including Bitcoin was submitted to the Diet. It amends the existing Payment Services Act and the Act on Preventing of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds.
Bitcoin will be a legally recognized method of payment in Japan in April (c) CoinDesk
“The revision of the Payment Services Act, which sets out the basic framework of virtual currency regulation, was promulgated last June”, Kawai told Bitcoin.com.
In December, the drafts of detailed regulations and guidelines were published. On the other hand, the period for public consultation on the bill ended on January 27. He continued, adding that: The new regulations will enter into force in April 2017.
According to the bill, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin have certain regulations on virtual currency exchange services with the aim to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing as well as to protect users.
That's not how Bitcoin works
Virtual currencies are not classified as “currencies” in Japan, but only as a new method of payment. Kawai confirmed: “Virtual currency” is distinguished clearly from “currency” in the regulations.
Due to the government's recognition of Bitcoin as a payment method, it will “likely have a positive effect on people’s mind and facilitate usage of VC’s [virtual currencies]”, he believes.
Based on Japanese exchange Coincheck, from 14,000 users last April to 76,400 in January, Bitcoin usage is clearly growing considerably in Japan. There is also a massive growth of Bitcoin-accepting merchants using its service.
According to Coinhills, Japan now is the second-largest Bitcoin trading volume in the world.