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