August 1st, 2018
Bitcoin has become a phenomenon. In the last few years, its popularity reached new heights, thanks to growing prices on the global market. Online exchanges are helping consumers buy bitcoins are arising in many cities around the world; few governments are still not sure how to act.
Many governments are concerned about how to regulate new creations. Japan, on the other hand, is taking a reverse and bold approach. Also named as the ‘Land of Rising Sun’, Japan is showing the world the direction of how to regulate digital currencies. Western countries seem to doubt Bitcoin ATMs and online trading platforms, but Japan has made its stand clear on helping users buy bitcoins.
Land of Rising Bitcoin
Bitcoin is now an official payment method in Japan. Over 4,500 stores in Japan have started accepting digital currencies. A popular daily named Nikkei, recently published an article that rightly mentions that Japan is teaching Western Nations how to regulate cryptocurrency. Shoppers in Japan can spend digital currencies to buy a range of items. Many stores are spreading the awareness of Bitcoin and are helping it grow. In the last few months, several ATM machines are appearing in prime locations. This has helped users get access to digital currencies. Some mobile phone apps are becoming more accessible, which have allowed for users to pay utility bills using Bitcoin.
Following Mt Gox collapse, the country’s largest Bitcoin exchange became liquidated. This was after a loss in which Japanese regulators had to intervene. In that collapse around 850,000 bitcoins were lost. In most countries, there would have been strict actions or a ban in the use of digital currencies. However, Japan took a reverse approach. Rather than curtailing the use of digital currency, they made regulations, which made it mandatory for exchanges to maintain capital reserves. Now exchanges have to keep customer funds separate and follow KYC procedures. On the other hand, several Western governments are hesitant over digital currency regulation making it tough for common users.
Regulators Mounting Up
A few months ago Donald Trump’s secretary issued a statement about Bitcoin and it was not very exciting. His concern was the use of digital currencies for all kind of illicit activities. He claimed that using bitcoins funds terrorist cases, dark web, money laundering and drug smuggling cases. There is no doubt several reasons why users want to buy bitcoins and other parts of the country are becoming more popular, but they are still not confident about its use. These accusations will seriously terrify digital currency users in this part, but Japan is showing the world a new direction. It’s definitely a bold decision and it will help the currency gain popularity with time.
All these accusations aren’t limited to digital currencies. Cryptography as a whole is an area of concern for many western governments. Recently US and British leaders have openly expressed their frustration with the currency system. They are claiming that backdoors can’t be built into the system. Bitcoin currency system is completely free from the centralized system, but it hasn’t prevented authorities from restricting its exit and entry points from the fiat world. Officials haven’t yet laid the hammer on Bitcoin ATMs or other digital currencies, but they have shown little support.