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Japan Approves Bitcoin and Digital Currencies as Money

The Japanese Cabinet has officially approved a set of bills that will improve the integration of digital currency into the banking system through regulation, according to the Japan Times.

Bitcoin exchanges will be required, by Japanese regulations, to adopt established KYC/AML standards used in other nations. Banks will be able to enter the rapidly increasing “Fintech” industry for future asset management and gains. Other goals for 2016 include preventing new forms of money laundering through Bitcoin and maintaining protection for consumers.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, Mt. Gox, led by Mark Karpeles, was the world’s leading Bitcoin exchange. Mt. Gox collapsed in February of 2014 after rumours of mismanagement and fraud circulated for several months within the Bitcoin community. Various Japanese mainstream media outlets reported that Bitcoin collapsed with Mt. Gox, and they were locally associated with each other, leaving Bitcoin to suffer the consequences throughout 2014.

Over the past year, however, new and innovative changes were made, including Coincheck, which helped to gain over 1000 merchants and billions of Yen in consumer investment every month. The struggles of the Japanese economy may have been a factor in this national approval, as the country would not wish to potentially miss out on the economic gains brought in by the “Fintech” industry worldwide. As well as improving the business efficiency, these new bills will make it easier for banks to consolidate their fund and system management.

As a regulatory commission, Bitcoin exchanges like Coincheck will be required to register with the Financial Services Agency. Without the need for any conversions, payments can be made digitally, implying that banks and major corporations or utility providers will start accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment.

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