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Category Archive: japan

Universities can have their own Bitcoin Nodes thanks to BSafe

Several researchers want to encourage universities to set up bitcoin nodes to allow students and teachers to work and test the blockchain.
This private testbed network is called BSafe and it aims at helping the Bitcoin technology proliferate and preventing hacker attacks. 
“Most developers in this world think that bitcoin’s fundamental cryptographic algorithm is ideal and can be used as a black box,” explained to Coindesk Shin’ichiro Matsuo, co-founder of the BSafe network. 

How universities can have their own Bitcoin Nodes thanks to BSafe

BSave will provide a communication channel between universities and Bitcoin Core developers on the several testnets, or the alternative blockchains used for doing tests.
Created in February, the network has five nodes deployed in Japan, UK and another set up by MIT. 
Matsuo wants to have a group of 30 university nodes within the end of 2016; also he aims at setting up three university nodes per country in the next future.
“Right now the community is a meritocracy and the majority of it is based on whether you can code,” said Bitcoin Core developer Cory Fields. 
According to Fields, several groups of nodes would be able to measure things that have been difficult to study before.

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Mitsubishi invests in Blockchain

mitsubishi_invests_in_blockchain
Today Coinbase announced that has raised $10.5m thanks to Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, 

Mitsubishi UFJ Capital and Sozo Ventures.

Also, Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ itself started a new partnership with Coinbase, confirming rumors that the American startup was working on a proof-of-work project with an Asian bank.
Thanks to this move, Mitsubishi invests in blockchain applications.

Mitsubishi invests in Blockchain: a gap to fill up

In a press release, Coinbase explained that this collaboration will allow to fill up the gap between the blockchain and traditional financial institutions.

“Partnering with leading global financial institutions is a key part of our strategy and we are thrilled to be working with BTMU.”

Also, the well-known exchange commented that wants to launch several services in Japan; this way the startup will be able to serve a second Asian market.

Mitsubishi to have its own cryptocurrency

This news came following a report from the Asahi Shimbun newspaper and the bank will soon issue a virtual currency (the MUFG Coin?) that will be available next year.


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Why central banks need to study Bitcoin

japan_flag_bitcoin

 Japanese central banks need to study Bitcoin

A few days ago Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso explained why central banks from all over the world need to study and focus on Bitcoin and blockchain applications. 
During an event held in Japan, Nakaso gave a speech about many aspects of the financial environment, including bitcoin and the distrubuted ledger.
These were his words:
“The application of those technologies would also change the structure of the financial infrastructure that has been built around centralized ledgers managed by trusted third parties. Thus, central banks will and have to follow these issues closely and with great interest.”

Japan believes in Bitcoin

This news came after another important one related to Bitcoin recognition in Japan. 
Some months ago, in fact, the Japanese cabinet recnognized the importance of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, so it aims at recognizing them as a method of payment, so the government is going to bring digital currencies under control of the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Read more here about Bitcoin recognition in Japan.

Japan to regulate Bitcoin

Previously in February the Japanese regulators stated the decision to propose bitcoin among the methods of payment, so to define the digital cryptocurrency as a conventional currency.
In fact, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) wants to make “revisions to legislation that would classify digital currencies as fulfilling the functions of currency”, reported Coindesk.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin officially recognized in Japan

japan accept bitcoin officially

Japan is going to officially recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
Previously in March, the Japan Times announced that the Japanease Cabined approved some bills that would help banks to expand their business related to fintech
The cabinet also recnognized the importance of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, so it aims at recognizing them as method of payment, so the government is going to bring digital currencies under the overview of the Financial Services Agency (FSA), who also control the Yen. 
This system will also provide a registration of exhchanges to avoid money laudering and to protect the bitcoin users, specially after the Mt. Gox debacle back in 2014, when the company was handling 70% of all bitcoin transactions.
This way, Japan has just given virtual currencies legitimacy, and we hope this news will allow lots of other countries to do the same in the near future.

The open-minded Japan

To be honest, this news is not so shocking, as in February the Japanese regulators stated the decision to propose bitcoin among the methods of payments, so to define the digital cryptocurrencies as conventional currency.

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Bitcoin is the most important and popular cryptocurrency at the moment, together with Ethereum.
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Amelia Tomasicchio

Japan wants to regulate Bitcoin as Currency

Yesterday we read about the decision of an American judge to define bitcoin as property, as according to him bitcoin is a intangible personal property rather than a currency.

This is a very important matter on which lots of words have been spent since Satoshi Nakamoto invented this cryptocurrency. In fact, this definition has a lot of implications on how bitcoin is regulated, especially in terms of VAT and taxation in general.

Well, today Japanese regulators stated the decision to propose bitcoin among the methods of payments, so to define the digital cryptocurrencies as conventional currency.

In fact, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) wants to make “revisions to legislation that would classify digital currencies as fulfilling the functions of currency”, reported Coindesk.
At the moment Japan recognizes bitcoin as a property and not as a currency, but:
“Under the FSA’s proposed definition, virtual currencies must serve as a medium of exchange, meaning that they can be used to purchase goods and services. They must also be exchangeable for legal tender through purchases or trades with an unspecified partner”, said an article by Nikkie.
This possible modification might be submitted during the current legislative session of the Japanese legislature which runs from 4th January to 1st June, even though this it is not official yet.

About the author: Amelia Tomasicchio is a writer and a journalist of Bitcoin-related news and articles. She started writing about Bitcoin in 2014 and she graduated in Rome with an essay about movie industry related to Bitcoin.

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Amelia Tomasicchio

Japan’s ruling party says won’t regulate bitcoin for now

A man walks past a building where Mt. Gox, a digital marketplace operator, is housed in Tokyo February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
A man walks past a building where Mt. Gox, a
digital marketplace operator, is housed in Tokyo February 25, 2014.
(Reuters) –
Japan’s leading Liberal Democratic Party said it decided against
regulating bitcoin for the time being, after the collapse of Tokyo-based
bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox prompted them to consider more scrutiny of the
virtual currency.
Mt.Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy in February after saying hackers stole 750,000 bitcoins belonging to its customers. 
“Basically,
we concluded that we will, for now, avoid a move towards legal
regulation,” Takuya Hirai, an LDP lawmaker who leads the party’s
internet media division, said on Thursday, adding that a final decision
would be made after hearing more opinions on the subject
The use of electronic currencies
has drawn the attention of governments around the world who are unsure
whether, and how, to regulate them. U.S. agencies ranging from the New
York bank regulator to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have also been looking into possible regulation.
A
task force of U.S. state regulators is also working on the first
bitcoin rulebook, hoping to protect users of virtual currency from fraud
without smothering the fledgling technology.

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bitcoin in japan

Japan to monitor Bitcoin rather than regulate it

(CoinReport) Japan’s involvement with bitcoin has taken a massive blow due to all
of the negative press surrounding the Japanese failed bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox.
Since then, warnings of the risks involved with dealing in the digital
currency have been spread throughout the world by regulators and critics
alike.

Japan Will Monitor Bitcoin

However, rather than
placing specific laws or regulations attached to how the country should
be allowed to use bitcoin, it will just monitor it instead. On Tuesday, the Japanese government claimed that regulating bitcoin wasn’t under their jurisdiction.
Sources say that Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is
devising a plan to make it easier to monitor illegal bitcoin activity.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his administration identify bitcoin as not
being a form of currency. They do identify it as being an electronic
payment method.
As most government officials and regulators do,
Japan’s warn the public of bitcoin’s potential dangers, such as its uses
in money laundering and drug trafficking.

Regulators Warn of Bitcoin

While
Japan has no plans to enforce rules over bitcoin, other regulators feel
that regulation over the digital currency is the only way for it to be
safe enough for investors to get into.
On the other hand, some
feel bitcoin isn’t safe enough to implement into our economy, but for
those that want in, they should do their homework first. Indiana
Secretary of State, Connie Lawson claims that:

“The
value of virtual currencies is highly volatile, and the concept behind
the currency is difficult to understand even for sophisticated financial
experts.”

Though this may be true in some
cases, that doesn’t mean people can’t figure it out for themselves.
Bitcoin was foreign to every enthusiast at one point in time. Like with
all new concepts and innovations, time is needed to get acquainted with
the technology.
Once
upon a time, even the Internet sounded dangerous and ludicrous idea.
Regulators, whether in Japan or the U.S., need to stop putting fear in
people and let bitcoin have an organic chance at success.
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Bitcoin Regulation Update – 03/07/14

(BitcoinMagazine) This
week saw the outing (or not) of Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s alleged
inventor, who is said to have abruptly disappeared from the online
forums he was known to frequent in Bitcoin’s early days. Though the man
alleged to be Nakamoto, who was living under a different name in the
United States, denied involvement with Bitcoin, Newsweek, the
publication that broke the story, stands behind their work. The early
response from the online Bitcoin community could best be described as a
low grade form of moral outrage, combined with a dash of horror. What
seems to have upset Bitcoiners most is the fact that a media outlet was
able to identify and publicly name a person who clearly was not
interested in being identified, using little more than public
information and basic detective work. To the extent that the majority of
crypto enthusiasts value privacy, if not anonymity, the Satoshi
Nakamoto affair does not bode well.
Canada-based Bitcoin exchange Vault of Satoshi announced via Facebook on Thursday that it would discontinue
support for US customers due to an “increasingly hostile” regulatory
environment. The exchange, which connects users with others looking to
trade crypto currencies for fiat currencies, claimed to be facing
considerable difficulties complying with FinCEN’s anti-money laundering
rules, not the least of which was FinCEN’s policy disallowing the filing
of paper reports by money service businesses and the seeming
incompatibility of the online reporting system with foreign businesses.
The decision to abandon the US market entirely seems to be a fairly
drastic response to US law, which could rightly be described as overly
complicated. Vault of Satoshi is neither the first nor the only non-US
based company to face US regulatory requirements, so it isn’t clear why
it seems to be having unusual difficulty in this area.  The company’s
Bitcoin to US dollar volume on Friday stood at 280 coins as of 5:00 PM
CST, compared to 314 for Bitcoin to Canadian dollars. Under the new
policy, US traders will be unable to deposit or withdraw cash from the
exchange, but will be permitted to trade coins.
Yet another exchange, this time Canadian company Flexcoin, informed customers this week that it is insolvent
as the result of a hack induced theft and would have no choice but to
cease operations. The exchange lost an estimated $500,000 worth of coins
in its hot wallet, but a spokesman said that customer coins in cold
storage would be returned to their owners.  Flexcoin referred to its
terms of service, reminding its customers that they agreed not to hold
Flexcoin liable for theft, while informing everyone else that they were
out of luck. The operative verbiage states that “Flexcoin is not
responsible for insuring any bitcoins stored in the Flexcoin system.”
Whether this will be sufficient to ward off civil liability remains to
be seen.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs service in the United Kingdom has reportedly dropped
a plan to apply value added taxes to mined bitcoins and Bitcoin
exchange transactions. However, the treasury maintained in a brief
delivered to British lawmakers that the 20% VAT still applies to goods
and services purchased with bitcoins, just the same as it would if those
same goods and services were purchased with Pounds. After a careful
review, HM Treasury was more likely to have discovered the near
impossibility of taxing Bitcoin at the point of exchange or the point of
creation, than to have determined that it falls outside the scope of
transactions subject to the tax.  Merchants, on the other hand, are
already accustomed to collecting VAT and equipped with the
infrastructure both to report it and to comply with the audit
requirements of the British government. The UK has developed a
reputation in the Bitcoin community of late for being comparatively
friendly to crypto currency from a regulatory standpoint and more
accessible than US regulators.
Vietnam’s Communist government has officially banned
all Bitcoin transactions. The Vietnamese central bank announced the
policy, citing Bitcoin’s alleged role in promoting money laundering and
other criminal activity. The bank did not specify how the ban would be
enforced or what the penalties for non-compliance would be. The
Vietnamese government maintains restrictive capital controls (ostensibly
to protect the Dong against speculators), that Bitcoin could be used to
subvert. Few exchanges offer the ability to convert from Bitcoin to the
Vietnamese Dong.  However, other currencies, such as the US dollar, are
in common use on Vietnam’s streets, especially in urban centers.
Japan has announced
that it will not attempt to regulate Bitcoin transactions carried out
within its borders on the grounds that bitcoins are not considered a
currency. However, Japanese banks will be prohibited from buying or
selling bitcoins. The Japanese government also clarified that it intends
to treat Bitcoin as a commodity and subject it to the applicable
taxation regime. Japan is the home of Mt. Gox, the collapsed Bitcoin
exchange which is currently the subject of a bankruptcy filing in that
country, along with at least one criminal probe and numerous civil
suits.

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Governor says Bank of Japan is “very interested” in cryptocurrency

Haruhiko Kuroda | Wikimedia(BitcoinExaminer) The governor of the Bank of Japan recently said that the institution is “very interested” in Bitcoin. Haruhiko Kuroda talked about cryptocurrency during a news conference, according to the site Jiji Press.

“Compared to traditional ways of money
transfer and existing electronic money, Bitcoin has both similar and
different aspects”, Kuroda said about the digital coin that is currently
being studied by the central bank’s Institute of Monetary and Economic Studies.
Haruhiko Kuroda | Wikimedia
Despite the fact that the Bank of Japan
is known as a conservative institution, Haruhiko Kuroda is known for
supporting a looser monetary policy in the country. Back in February,
the former president of the Asian Development Bank, said that “there is
plenty of room for monetary easing” in Japan.
The interest might be there, but Kuroda – ranked by Forbes as the 39th most powerful person in the world -, also said the Bank of Japan doesn’t plan to take any action regarding Bitcoin in a near future.

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Satoshi