Bitcoin goes legit in Japan – will be legal currency starting in April

Credit: Francis Storr /

Bitcoin will become a legal method of payment in Japan in April this year. The change in legal status comes after a revision of the Payment Services Act passed a mandatory period of public consultation ending on the 27th of January. In an interview with, Ken Kawai of Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, a leading Japanese law firm said that the draft regulations and guidelines were published in December and have now officially passed a period of public consultation.

The revision of the Payment Services Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as a new method of payment. According to Kawai, however, the bill clearly distinguishes virtual currencies from traditional currency which means bitcoin is not legally a currency under Japanese law. The distinction is important according to Kawai, as different compliance laws need to be followed by those engaged in bitcoin activities compared to those using traditional currencies. Until now, bitcoin’s legal position in Japan has been unclear as authorities attempt to understand how bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fit into existing legal frameworks.

The passing of the bill has come at a time of increased bitcoin trading in Japan. The country is now the second biggest market in terms of trading volume after China. An executive from Coincheck, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in Japan recently revealed to that the company had experienced massive growth in new users and trading volumes. bitFlyer, Japan’s leading exchange have also recorded big increases in trading volume. According to the company’s CFO, Midori Kanemitsu,

“The Japanese bitcoin market is so extremely competitive that almost all the exchanges charge no fees, and the competition is going into negative fees. There have also been good in-flows from the recent volatility, including ‘Brexit’, where JPY was bought and BTC outperformed JPY.”

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This article was originally published on TheFintechBuzz

Anthony Back
About Anthony Back 14 Articles
Anthony is currently a Senior Fintech Analyst at Expert Market Insight and the Director of Content at BreakingFinance, a fintech content creation firm. After spending several years tracking and analyzing technologies and investments at Israel Venture Capital, he now focuses his time conducting research and analysis on the global fintech industry to help startups, financial institutions and finance-related companies develop insightful content. Anthony’s areas of expertise include payments, trading & investing, banking, blockchain and digital currencies. He is also the lead contributor at industry blog.

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