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Bic Camera: new merchants accept Bitcoin in Japan

A new electronics retailer decided to start accepting bitcoin in Japan as one of the available payment methods in all its shops within the country.

It is Bic Camera that began to accept bitcoin at several shops back in April, and that is now it is looking to expand this payment after seeing huge levels of demand from its customers.

The retailer is taking payments in the digital currency thanks to a partnership with the domestic bitcoin exchange called bitFlyer, so they can convert bitcoin into yen right after the acceptance.

Bic Camera sells a wide range of products, including cameras, computers and home appliances like fridges and washing machines.

News that Bic Camera is accepting bitcoin at more locations came after the Japanese government’s new regulations around digital currencies and the exchange services. Among those, for example, there is a legal definition for bitcoin as a kind of payment instrument and the decision to eliminate bitcoin taxation.

Also, this could be one reason why we might aspect a new growth in the bitcoin price in the next days.

Read more about Bitcoin in Japan here.

 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Japan eliminates Bitcoin Taxation; Rise in Price expected

Japan government officially eliminates bitcoin taxation after it recognized as legal method of payment a few months ago.

Consumption taxes on the sale of bitcoin will come into effect on July 1st.

According to a Deloitte’s report entitled “Japan: Inbound Tax Alert, 2017 Tax Reform Proposals,” digital currencies including Bitcoin will be exempt from the 8% consumption tax in Japan.

Deloitte’s report explains:

“The supply of virtual currency will be exempt from Japanese Consumption Tax (“JCT”). Currently, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin do not fall under the category of exempt sales, and as a result, the sale of virtual currencies in Japan have been treated as taxable for JCT purposes. Following the enactment of the amended Fund Settlement Law in May 2016, which newly defined “virtual currency” as a means of settlement, the sale of virtual currency as defined under the new Fund Settlement Law will be exempt from JCT. This change will apply to sales/purchase transactions performed in Japan on or after 1 July 2017.”

Bitcoin Industry in Japan

Back in March, the Japanese National Diet approved the tax reform proposed by Deloitte. The bill, which came into effect on July 1st will drastically increase bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading activities within the Japanese digital currency exchanges.

The bill will probably increase bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading activities within the Japanese digital currency exchanges.

On April 1, the Japanese government officially recognized Bitcoin as a legal payment method and currency.

The Japanese Bitcoin exchange industry is well regulated with Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems. AML policies are very strict in Japan and South Korea, and it is difficult for traders to take advantage of utilizing digital currencies to move large amounts outside of Japan.

Price growth because of bitcoin taxation

Although it could be a coincidence- since Japan has proposed the end of Bitcoin taxation, Bitcoin price increased from around $2,450 to $2,570.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin Airlines: Japanese Peach to accept the digital currency

Peach Aviation is going to become the first Japan’s airline to accept bitcoin for buying any flight.

This move comes after the Japanese decision to regulate bitcoin as currency, becoming a legal method of payment back in April 1st, 2017.

During a recent interview with CEO Shinichi Inoue, he said:

“Now you can travel without your wallet. I think this is innovation; we’ll put all our energy into it.”

Peach is a budget domestic flights company that operates in Korea, China and Thailand.

The firm announced that they will accept bitcoin payments by the end of 2017; also, the firm is looking to install Bitcoin ATMs at airports.

“This is a real first step in partnerships for Japan and we are aiming for more company and service tie-ups,” said Inoue in an interview conducted by Bloomberg.

“We want to encourage visitors from overseas and the revitalization of Japan’s regions.”

Several major retailers and merchants are starting to accept bitcoin in Japan thanks to the recent law on digital currencies, as you can read here.

And this is maybe one of the prominent reason why bitcoin price is growing so much during the latest period.

Also, Japanese traders are driving bitcoin prices as they transacted huge amounts on the exchanges: recent studies revealed that Yen is the major fiat currency being exchanged for bitcoin.

Bitcoin airlines worldwide

There are a few other bitcoin airlines in the world and also several ways to book a flight with digital currencies.

For example, CheapAir and BtcTrip are the first platforms that accept this disruptive method of payment.

Also, Latvia-based airline and Virgin Galactic began accepting bitcoin since 2013/2014,  while if you want to book a private jet, you can do it through JetVizor.

More bitcoin airlines to suggest? Write us a message in the comments! We would be happy to add new companies.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin in Japan: a new way to evaluate blockchain projects

While there is lack of clarity related to the regulation of Bitcoin in Japan, one of the Japanese government ministries has worked to develop a new way in order to evaluate projects related to the distributed ledger tech.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), in fact, announced a few details about this new methodology, that was created by the Information Economy Division of the ministry’s Commerce and Information Policy Bureau.

According to a presentation  published a few days ago, METI will exploit this process to consider projects for a variety of use cases, by evaluating more than 30 different characteristics including project scalability, privacy and overall reliability.

People involved with the creation of this new methodology explained it was developed to impartially weigh blockchain-related projects.

The official presentation explains:

“No evaluation indices or criteria had been established to adequately assess the features of the technologies and to compare them with existing systems. This causes the public anxiety, misunderstanding, and unreasonable hopes to blockchain technologies, and leading to a potential unwillingness to introduce the technology.”

It is not a big surprise that the Japanese ministry is involved in this project, as it has already supported the blockchain technology in the past.

METI, in fact, is conducting some researches about the technology since 2015, commenting that the government should play a supporting role. Also, the Japanese ministry has sponsored a trip abroad for local bitcoin and blockchain-based startups.

Click here to read more about Bitcoin in Japan news.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Bitcoin Japan Regulation: official recognized as method of payment

On April 1st, 2017, Bitcoin Japan regulation was officially announced as the digital currency is finally recognized as a method of payment.

This Bitcoin legal classification will set a boom in its adoption as retailers will be able to accept the most popular digital currency.

In 2016, Japanese officials ended the 8% consumption tax rate imposed on bitcoin purchasing on the digital currency exchanges.

This tax relief and the Bitcoin Japan regulation might help to foster confidence in the digital currency industry, where there are 4,200 merchants that accept bitcoin. This growth – merchants are quadrupled from 2015 – occurred in two years when Japan’s cabinet decided to recognize bitcoin and digital currencies as the equivalent of money, in March 2016.

Payment processor Coincheck estimated that 20,000 merchants will be started to accept bitcoin this year.

260,000 Bitcoin-accepting Retail Stores

According to the Asian magazine Nikkei, two Japanese retailing giants have started a few partnerships with bitcoin companies in order to accept bitcoin as a method of payment.

One of these is Recruit Lifestyle, the retail arm of conglomerate Recruit Holdings, that is partnering with Coincheck in order to introduce bitcoin payments.

Also, bitcoin will be soon included in AirRegi, a recruit-developed point-of-sale application that is used at 260,000 retail locations across the whole Japan.

Customers will be able to use tablets and smartphones for paying bills with their bitcoin wallet and Coincheck will convert the digital currency into yen in order to transfer the fiat funds to the shop.

Also, AirRegi is compatible with Alibaba’s Alipay app for payments. Bitcoin’s inclusion will be attractive for tourists who will be able to make payments in other countries without the burdens of foreign exchange.

Click here to more about Bitcoin in Japan. 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Japanese Blockchain Consortium is growing fast

A Japanese blockchain consortium grew very fast and now it includes more than 1 hundred members.

Membership of this Blockchain Collaborative Consortium (BCCC) grew since its creation back in April 2016.

BCCC memberhip includes Japan Microsoft, InfoteriaMitsui Sumotomo Insurance, PwC, Bitbank, ConsenSys and more.

Also, the Japanese Blockchain Consortium announced that the 100th student from its Blockchain University program had successfully graduated – signal that the BCC’s plan to improve knowledge about the distributed ledger is succeeding.

In a blog post revealed today, the founder and CEO of Infoteria, Pina Hirano, explained that the Japanese Blockchain University is the only one of its kind within the country. He said:

“While the world related to FinTech and block chains is moving at a rapid pace, BCCC will add new members’ power and make activities more active so that domestic movements will not be delayed.”

Hirano suggested the total Japanese Blockchain consortium members are 109, but at the moment the BCCC website only lists 101, so maybe more members will be announced in the near future.

Japanese blockchain growth

During the last few months Japan has been characterized by its interest and study of the blockchain.

In November Ripple launched its own blockchain consortium with more than 40 banks with the goal of building a network to conduct cross-border payments. 

Also, in December the Mizuho Financial Group, Inc., Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation and other banks helped Deloitte Japan for a blockchain test and research about inter-bank payments.

Despite the test, Japan faced a shortage of blockchain developers, as reported by Reuters.

To solve this problem within the country, the BCCC graduated two classes of students with 8 courses each, including “practical training”, “foundation of blockchain technology” with lessons about the bitcoin blockchain.  More classes will be added next month, but unfortunately this consotium blockchain class is only conducted in Japanese language.

To read more about Japan plans related to the blockchain, click here. 

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Japan Bitcoin Regulation for 2017

Japan Bitcoin Regulation

Japan Bitcoin Regulation will take place in 2017 and it wants to drop an 8% sales tax on Bitcoin purchases.

This move will take effect in July 2017, according to a document published by CoinDesk.

Although the proposal has yet to be approved by senior Japanese government, an annual tax document written by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the Komeito party was revealed today. Thanks to this document now we know more details on the proposal suggested back in October by the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency.

The tax remains in place today.

If approved by the Cabinet, the plan will institute a period of grace in June 2017, with the tax exemption becoming official the following month.

The document just released is the result of discussions among government stakeholders first reported by the regional news service called Nikkei.

Local startups have already responded positively to this Japan Bitcoin regulation.

CEO of exchange service Quoine, Mike Kayamori, commented that the plan to drop the sales tax was expected, but it represents a good message to the cryptocurrency community.

Kayamori explained to CoinDesk:

“It’s a huge relief for us. Customers don’t have to pay tax for each transaction. Hope this becomes standard practice.”

This move follows a very busy year for Japan on the exchange front, as the government decided to request registration for all the companies that handle bitcoin sales within the Japanese country.

Discussions around exchange regulation began last year when government ministers tried to obtain information from exchange services.

Also, a deliberations took place last year because of the collapse of Mt Gox, a bitcoin exchange imploded in 2014, causing hundreds of millions of dollars lost by the exchange users.

Document originally shared by CoinDesk.com on Scribd. Unfortunately it is available only in Japanese language.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio

Blockchain Japan Banks: a new Consortium

42 financial institutions created a new Blockchain Japan Banks Consortium focused on decentralized payments.

Created by the financial service called SBI and co-launched with the distributed ledger startup Ripple, this new blockchain consortium includes a wide range of large and small companies and institutions. The creation of this blockchain consortium comes a few days after SBI revealed that it would work to create its own digital currency exchange in Japan.

Members involved in this new program want to share resources and work on a cross-border proof-of-concept, with the goal of creating a new common ground for commercial-scale products in 2017.

SBI explained in a statement:

“The Consortium will promote discussion, from both technical and operational perspectives, on activities required in domestic and foreign exchange services to utilize blockchain and other new technologies, consolidate domestic and foreign exchange services, and build 24-hour and real-time remittance infrastructure, and will try to finish PoC by next March to move forward commercial base.”

Also, SBI explained that efforts to create this blockchain consortium began in August, with the first goal to involve 15 member banks, but the group has rapidly increased its members during the promotional period, the company commented.

This blockchain Japan Banks consortium created by SBI is the latest effort of its kind. Similar groups have been created in recent months among Russian financial companies and European insurance brands. Read more here.

<img src="/images/blockchainjapanbanks.jpg" alt="Blockchain Japan Banks" height="264" width="350" />

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

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.

Multicurrencies Wallet 

holytransaction logo wallet bitcoin

Bitcoin is the most important and popular cryptocurrency at the moment, together with Ethereum.
So you may need an online walletwhere you can store your bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
Here you can store several digital currencies as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, Blackcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin and more.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

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.

Open your free digital wallet here to store your cryptocurrencies in a safe place.

Amelia Tomasicchio