Bitcoin definition remains unclear under new bill

Author: Brian Yap | Published: 31 May 2016

Japan's drive towards regulating its burgeoning bitcoin trading platform has begun as lawmakers last week voted in a bill for the virtual currency. But counsel say definitions under the new bill remain unclear.

The Diet, the country’s parliament, passed a bill last Wednesday designating the Financial Services Agency (FSA) as the regulatory body in charge of supervising bitcoin operators and transactions.

But counsel in Japan tell IFLR that the new bill fails to define the nature of a virtual currency, with some arguing bitcoin should be treated as real money as it functions in the same way as formal tender.

"Looking at the bill passed last Wednesday, it is clear that the bitcoin is not the same as formal tender. But this new law is silent on how the virtual currencies shall be classified in terms of accounting," said Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu's Takashi Unoki, explaining that this has caused...