Japan Lawmakers To Categorize Bitcoin And Cryptocurrencies As “Crypto Assets”
Financial regulators in Japan have decided to take a new step in order to categorize Bitcoin (BTC) and virtual currencies. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) informed that it will be categorizing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as ‘crypto-assets.’ The information has been released by the local news agency Yomiuri Shimbun.
On December 14, an FSA advisory panel submitted a review requesting to change the way in which virtual currencies are legally referred to. The main intention is to avoid citizens having trouble at the time of understanding the term ‘virtual currency.’ The intention is to change it to ‘crypto-assets.’
In order for this change to be applied, the FSA will have to analyse the proposal and take a decision on whether or not it is a good idea to change that definition.
Japan has been one of the most open countries towards virtual currencies around the world. The country has a very active community trading virtual currencies, there are several companies working in the space, and Japan’s GDP reportedly increased 0.3% in 2017 thanks to virtual currencies and the bear market they experienced.
The Japanese government has also accepted and considered virtual currencies as a legal form of payment. Nevertheless, the Payment Services Act defined cryptos as a ‘proprety value.’ This means that it is not considered legal tender. With the latest change proposed, the intention is to have more clarity on this issue.
Although the country has been very open to virtual currencies and blockchain technology, the country has taken harder regulations than before in order to control the space. The reason behind this decision is the fact that several exchanges and platforms have experienced some security issues at the beginning of the year.
For example, the crypto exchange Coincheck lost $500 million worth of XEM tokens at the beginning of the current year. A short time later, the country decided to regulate the space in order to avoid further issues. Now, only companies that fulfil all the requirements can operate after being authorized by the FSA.
There are no clear regulations around the world in terms of cryptocurrencies. Some countries tend to be more open towards these technologies while others more closed. Moreover, there is no unified position on how to consider virtual currencies. Despite that, cryptocurrencies expanded everywhere and may keep doing it in the future.