The Japanese government has released a statement saying that bitcoin “does not fall under the category of a currency and is subject to taxation.” This comes in the midst of the rest of the world trying to grapple with the virtual currency, and bitcoin exchanges crashing one after the other, putting operations into jeopardy.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters that since the bitcoin exchanges involve transactions and gains, it is only common sense that the Finance Ministry should look into how to impose taxes. Countries like Denmark and China have outright banned these virtual currency deposits, while Russia has warned the public about using them. The United States Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen meanwhile said that since there is no central authority that is backing the bitcoin, then it cannot be under their power.
Suga was asked if he thinks Japan can become the “global leader” when it comes to bitcoin regulation, he says they are still sorting everything out and studying what the government can do to get it under control in the meantime. The past days have seen bitcoin operations get into major trouble. Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, which claims it hosts 80% of the world’s bitcoin operations, last week filed for bankruptcy in the Tokyo District Court after their system was hacked and exposed to fraudulent transactions. Then just this week, another bitcoin storage site in Canada, Flexcoin, announced they were closing down when hackers got into their systems too. A Japanese securities industry leader said that there is a risk whenever they conduct transactions using bitcoin. Kazutoshi Inano, chairman of the Japan Securities Dealers Association, said that self-responsibility is the most important thing to think about before you decide to transact virtually.
[ via RT ]