Japan says Bitcoin not a currency, but taxable


Tokyo (AFP) - Japan's government said Friday that Bitcoin is not a currency but that it "is natural" that transactions involving the virtual unit should be taxed.

"As a matter of common sense, if there are transactions and subsequent gains, it is natural... for the finance ministry to consider how it can impose taxes," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

His comments, in the wake of the spectacular failure of the Tokyo-based MtGox trading exchange last week, come as the government studies formal regulations for the unit after its reliability was called into question.

Regulators around the world are grappling with how to handle the currency.

US Federal Reserve head Janet Yellen has said the Fed had no powers over a currency that only exists virtually with no central authority behind it. Several countries, including Russia and China, have heavily restricted how Bitcoins can be used.

A Japanese government statement issued Friday said that Bitcoin "does not fall under the category of a currency and is subject to taxation", according to Jiji Press news agency.

Asked whether Japan would become a global leader on regulating Bitcoin, Suga said: "We are now sorting things out under the current law and mulling what the government can do."

The MtGox collapse set off alarm bells over Bitcoin, which backers have promoted as a low-cost alternative to traditional currencies such as the US dollar or Japanese yen.

Bitcoin is generated by complex chains of interactions among a huge network of computers around the planet.

MtGox, which at one time reportedly processed 80 percent of global Bitcoin transactions, last week sought bankruptcy protection and admitted that it lost half a billion dollars worth of the digital currency.

This week, an alleged theft by hackers forced a Canada-based online business serving Bitcoin traders and investors to shut down.


Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
   

Next In Regional

Misadventure verdict overturned in Nora Anne's death inquest
Scammers targeting people in S’pore weave Covid-19 vaccines, MOH into their false narratives
Kuaishou expands aggressively in Brazil, South-East Asia to challenge TikTok
China contributes 500,000 CoronaVac doses to Malaysia
Covid-19: 5,150 new cases, Selangor tops list with 1,914
Alibaba victim of huge data leak as China tightens security
Pharmaniaga embarks on plan to supply Sinovac to state govt, private sector
Watchdog: South Korean women, girls badly affected by ‘pervasive’ digital sex crime
Najib still an MP, not a bankrupt despite court ruling, says lawyer
Lockdown to be relaxed once daily cases drop below 4,000, says PM

Stories You'll Enjoy


Vouchers