“Crypto Assets” Should Be Used, Rather Than “Virtual Currencies,” Says Japan’s Minister of Finance


The terminology used in the cryptocurrency space has been a subject of debate for many jurisdictions, considering that the phrasing used can impact the way that the laws govern cryptocurrencies locally.

Through much of the world, cryptocurrencies have different names, but one of the more popular terms is “crypto asset, which is what Taro Aso has decided to use.

Aso, the minister of finance and deputy prime minister in Japan, has requested that local reporters no longer use the phrasing “virtual currencies” when they speak about the assets of the crypto industry. The remarks were made when he was answering a question during a crypto Q&A session at a press conference.

The conference, which was held on March 26th, was recorded on a transcript, published by Japan’s Financial Services Agency on April 26th with an English translation as well.

The decision to insist on the term comes at the same time that the cabinet approved the draft amendments that impact the laws surrounding payment services and financial instruments.

In March, the amendments established an official name chance within the country to refer to cryptocurrencies as “crypto assets,” even though former jurisdiction said that the country needed to use the term “virtual currencies.”

So far, the only impact that the terminology has is simply a name, and there is no real enforcement planned for making the use of this term throughout the industry and for its participants. After discussing this topic, Aso’s Q&A also reviewed how the FSA has altered its review process, and the new requirements for crypto asset, broker-dealers, and exchanges.

With the on-site inspections of different crypto firms, these processes have required some chances.

The FSA has been aggressive about protection from crypto exchange hacks in the county, leading them to monitor the sector more closely. Even though Aso is confident in the effects that blockchain technology has, the mass adoption will take a little time.

Considering that bad actors can come into the industry at any time, their misuse could ultimately take back the progress over time. By performing a review, the FSA can better protect investors.

The FSA registered two new broker-dealers in crypto assets this week – Rakuten Wallet and Decurret. One of Decurret’s directors is a former administrative vice minister from the Finance Ministry in Japan.

Deciding to change the definition of virtual currencies to crypto assets was meant to be a decision that would help traders understand the difference between the cryptocurrencies and legal tender. Along with the redefinition, the changes to the laws also speak to crypto margin trading, limiting leverage to no more than four times the initial deposit.

The changes discussed by the FSA will not occur until April 2020.

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