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Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Crypto Users and Traders

December 11, 2018 |

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Cryptocurrency Users and Traders

A Japanese lawmaker has proposed four changes to Japan’s tax law to benefit crypto users and traders as well as widen the adoption of cryptocurrency in the country. The current tax rate of 55 percent could be lowered to 20 percent while crypto-to-crypto trading and small payments could be exempt from taxation.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Changing Crypto Taxation

Representative Takeshi Fujimaki of Japan’s Nippon Ishin no Kai political party has proposed four changes to the current taxation system for cryptocurrencies. Fujimaki, who was formerly an adviser to billionaire investor George Soros, announced on Friday:

We believe that it is necessary to change the current virtual currency taxation system to an appropriate tax system in order to develop virtual currency / blockchain technology. The tax system should not deprive the future of virtual currency and blockchain.

The proposed changes are designed to “promote the wider adoption of virtual currency” as well as “encourage the development of blockchain technology,” he clarified.

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Cryptocurrency Users and Traders
Representative Takeshi Fujimaki.

From 55% Tax Rate to 20%

Currently, Japan taxes profits from cryptocurrency transactions as miscellaneous income, which could be as high as 55 percent. Fujimaki explained that unlike salaries which are fixed amounts, gains from crypto transactions — like stocks and mutual funds — vary and losses could be incurred over a number of years.

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Cryptocurrency Users and TradersCapital gains from stocks and mutual funds are taxed separately from other income sources, at a flat rate of about 20 percent. “From that point of view, it is necessary to [similarly] apply separate taxation with a tax rate of 20% to the gains from virtual currency transactions,” he said.

Fujimaki has also proposed allowing losses from crypto transactions to be carried forward, which the current law does not permit. Taxpayers with losses from crypto transactions this year and profits the next, for example, are not able to offset their gains with losses. He elaborated:

Losses from stock trading … can be carried forward and can be deducted from the profits in the following year. From the perspective of tax fairness, you should also allow for deduction carryforward of losses from virtual currency transactions.

Exemptions for Crypto-to-Crypto Trading and Payments

Trading between cryptocurrencies, such as between XRP and BTC, is currently subject to taxation under the current tax law, Fujimaki noted. “The task of calculating profit and loss for each transaction is extremely cumbersome and a heavy burden,” he described, adding:

In order to increase the volume of transactions between virtual currencies and to revitalize the virtual currency market, trading between virtual currencies should be tax exempt.

Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Cryptocurrency Users and TradersAnother tax exemption the lawmaker has proposed relates to small payments of cryptocurrencies, which he expects to increase as more stores start accepting crypto payments and more people start using them to pay for goods and services.

For example, a person eating at a restaurant and paying with bitcoin will have to calculate their “profit and loss from the bitcoin price and the purchase price of the bitcoin at that point,” and then pay tax if there is profit. Fujimaki emphasized that with the current system, “you cannot hope for the adoption of virtual currency payments in real society,” elaborating:

Virtual currency payments of small amounts should be tax exempt, and virtual currency payments in the real world should be expanded.

What do you think of these four proposed tax changes? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Takeshi Fujimaki.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Lawmaker Proposes 4 Tax Cuts for Crypto Users and Traders appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japanese Princess ‘Insecure’ About Becoming Empress

December 10, 2018 |

Japan’s Crown Princess Masako has suffered from a stress-related disorder for years, and she admits she’s feeling a little nervous about starting her new job as empress in the world’s oldest continuous monarchy. In a statement released to mark her 55th birthday, the princess said she is slowly recovering from…
Newser

Two American Military Aircraft Collide off Japanese Coast

December 6, 2018 |

Two Marines were rescued, and a joint Japanese-U.S. search-and-rescue operation continued for the other five Marines.
WSJ.com: What’s News Asia

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After Buyout

December 2, 2018 |

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After Buyout

A regulated Japanese cryptocurrency exchange is shutting down to relaunch as part of the Huobi family. The new exchange will support six cryptocurrencies and 11 trading pairs. Existing Bittrade customers need to open new accounts, complete KYC verification, and transfer their assets to the new platform.

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Bittrade Shutting Down

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After BuyoutBittrade, one of 16 regulated Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges, has announced the complete termination of its current trading system. The exchange will then reopen as part of the Huobi family.

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After BuyoutHuobi Japan Holding Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Huobi Global, has acquired a majority stake in Bittrade. Huobi itself stopped providing services to Japanese residents in June due to regulatory issues as Huobi is not a registered crypto exchange in Japan.

Bittrade is asking its customers to open accounts at the new Huobi platform and complete know-your-customer (KYC) verification, noting:

Please prepare your identity confirmation document again … from the viewpoint of thoroughly pursuing the criminal profit transfer prevention law, please register new accounts.

The exchange will terminate its agreement with Bitbank Corp., the provider of its current trading system, under a white label agreement. Bitbank also operates a regulated crypto exchange in Japan.

Asset Transfers

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After BuyoutIn its announcement, Bittrade stated that it will not transfer customer assets. Instead, the exchange has provided instructions for customers to transfer their own assets to the new platform.

Japanese yen in Bittrade accounts must be transferred to registered bank accounts by Jan. 18, 2019. Cryptocurrencies can be transferred directly from existing Bittrade accounts to new Huobi accounts once they are set up.

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After BuyoutThe exchange emphasized that the new platform will handle all cryptocurrencies currently supported by Bittrade: BTC, BCH, XRP, MONA, ETH, and LTC. The first four on the list can be traded against the yen. In addition, BCH, ETH, LTC, and MONA can be traded against BTC. Bittrade noted that the new system will additionally offer ETH/JPY, LTC/JPY, and XRP/BTC trading pairs.

The exchange wrote:

We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by the termination of the Bittrade service and updating to the Huobi new system. In the new system, we will continue to offer more liquidity and convenience services, so we appreciate your patronage.

Time Frame

Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After BuyoutThe new Huobi platform is expected to start accepting new registrations on Dec. 10. It plans to start accepting deposits and begin trading on Jan. 8. The exchange’s new web address will be huobi.co.jp.

Bittrade suspended new account registrations on Nov. 30. Deposits in both cryptocurrencies and Japanese yen will be halted on Dec. 14, followed by transactions on Dec. 27. Withdrawals and account access will cease on Jan. 18.

The exchange clarified that even after users can no longer log into their accounts:

[Their] assets will not be lost due to the termination of this service. However, after January 18, it is only possible to withdraw the full balance of both virtual currencies and Japanese yen.

What do you think of Bittrade shutting down its service and relaunching as part of Huobi? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bittrade, and Huobi.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange to Relaunch as Part of Huobi After Buyout appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Crypto Exchange Zaif

November 24, 2018 |

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Crypto Exchange Zaif

Regulated Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif has completed its business transfer. Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange is its new operator, taking over from Tech Bureau. This follows Zaif’s September hack, which cost the exchange approximately $ 62 million in three different cryptocurrencies.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

One Operator, Two Separate Exchanges

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange ZaifOsaka-based Tech Bureau Corp., which has been operating cryptocurrency exchange Zaif, announced on Thursday that it has completed transferring all of Zaif’s businesses to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange Inc. Fisco also operates a regulated Japanese exchange under the name Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (Fcce).

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange ZaifStarting on Nov. 22, Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange is the new operator of Zaif. Tech Bureau clarified that Fisco will operate both its own exchange and Zaif “as separate services as before.”

The takeover follows the hack of Zaif, which occurred on Sept. 14, from which the exchange claims to have lost 7 billion yen (~$ 62 million). Following the hack, Fisco agreed to provide “financial support of ¥5 billion yen” to Tech Bureau and entered into a “capital alliance enabling acquisition of a majority of the company’s shares.”

Dissolution and Suspension of Services

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange ZaifCurrent users of Zaif have been asked to give consent to the business transfer before they can resume using the exchange.

Zaif’s website now displays the message: “The administration of the site has changed to Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange Inc … We request that all users who have not given their acceptance to the migration of their contract in the Transfer of Business to complete the consent procedures.” Members who have given consent can continue to use Zaif’s services, less some that have been temporarily suspended. For those who have not given consent, Tech Bureau explained:

Since we plan to conduct the dissolution process after abolishing the registration of the virtual currency exchange after the transfer [to Fisco], we are highly unlikely to be able to [continue to] offer the services related to Zaif business.

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange ZaifSome services have been suspended during the transition period such as the deposits and withdrawals of BTC, BCH, and MONA — the three cryptocurrencies stolen in the September hack. Members also cannot buy or sell MONA at this time. In addition, the withdrawals of a number of cryptocurrencies have been halted.

The Zaif Coin Reserve service, which Tech Bureau describes as a “fixed-amount installment deposit service for virtual currencies,” has also been suspended. This includes new registrations, debits from bank accounts, and purchases of cryptocurrencies through the service.

Japan’s Changing Exchange Landscape

Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Cryptocurrency Exchange ZaifBoth Zaif and Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange are among the 16 regulated cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. The others are Bitflyer, Money Partners, Bitbank, Bitpoint, Quoine, SBI Virtual Currencies, Btcbox, GMO Coin, Bittrade, DMM Bitcoin, Bitarg Exchange Tokyo, Ftt Corporation, Xtheta Corporation, and Bitocean.

In September, Huobi acquired a majority stake in Bittrade. In April, Yahoo! Japan confirmed the acquisition of Bitarg through its wholly owned subsidiary Z Corporation.

Japan also has three other crypto exchanges that have been allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed by the country’s financial regulator. The three are Coincheck, Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin. Coincheck was acquired by Monex Group after it was hacked in January. SBI Group is a major investor in Lastroots, and Everybody’s Bitcoin has been acquired by Rakuten.

What do you think of Fisco taking over Zaif? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Fisco, and Tech Bureau.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Fisco Completes Takeover of Japanese Crypto Exchange Zaif appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services

November 16, 2018 |

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, has unveiled a plan to regulate cryptocurrency wallet services. The regulator has put forward a number of regulatory measures as well as proposing how to implement them.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

The Plan

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe Financial Services Agency (FSA) held its ninth cryptocurrency study group meeting on Monday. According to the agency’s published meeting materials, one of the main topics on the agenda was a plan to regulate crypto wallet services and their providers.

Currently, Japan’s fund settlement law requires businesses conducting cryptocurrency-related activities in the country, such as buying and selling, to register as crypto exchanges with the FSA.

“Wallets are like bank accounts that store virtual currencies,” Itmedia publication elaborated. While wallet service providers “handle large amounts of virtual currencies like exchange companies,” the publication noted that “they are not targeted by laws and regulations.”

The FSA explained that the current law does not apply to wallet service providers since they do not buy or sell cryptocurrencies — they merely manage and transfer them for customers. However, since they manage payments, the agency believes that financial regulation is necessary.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe plan unveiled at the meeting focuses on service providers — not software wallet developers or hardware wallet manufacturers. Many wallets exist only as code and are without identified leadership or companies behind them.

The regulations for wallet services will be in line with the international standards for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the FSA detailed. The agency wrote that the “revised FATF standards” must be imposed, including their recommendations relating to crypto exchanges, wallet service providers, and initial coin offering issuers.

The Implementation

The group proceeded to discuss the risks associated with wallet services, such as stolen funds during cyber attacks, wallet failures, money laundering, and other risks shared by crypto exchanges.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesPossible regulatory measures include the maintenance of internal control systems, separate management of cryptocurrencies belonging to the service providers and customers, audits of financial statements, publication of policies in the event of stolen funds in a hack and retaining funds to repay customers.

The transition period for introducing wallet regulations was also discussed. During this time, service providers would not be able to add new businesses, customers, or coins supported. In addition, they must post notices on their websites regarding their registration status. Those refusing to register must declare on their websites and “indicate that the business will be abolished,” according to the meeting document.

What do you think of Japan planning to regulate crypto wallet services? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

November 14, 2018 |

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

Japan’s GMO Internet has postponed the shipments of its two lines of 7nm bitcoin mining rigs. A representative of the company has clarified the situation to news.Bitcoin.com, noting that some refunds have already been issued. In addition, the company is planning to relocate its mining operations.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Shipments Postponed

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining EquipmentGMO Internet announced on Monday that it has postponed the shipments of its 7nm ASIC bitcoin mining equipment. The company has two lines of mining rigs: B2 and B3. The former was scheduled to start shipping at the end of October and the latter in November.

A representative of GMO revealed to news.Bitcoin.com on Tuesday that the shipments of both lines have been postponed, elaborating:

It is because the parts we need for our mining machines are actually very difficult to acquire right now … It is difficult to acquire some of the electronic components, such as resistors, due to the tight global supply-demand balance.

He added that the company has not decided whether to ship any miners this year.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment

GMO Internet launched the B2 line in June and the B3 line in July. In August, the company upgraded the B3 case shape design in order to improve its cooling performance and operational stability. Both B2 and B3 are priced at $ 1,999 and are sold out.

The representative emphasized that refunds will be issued to any customers who ask for them, noting:

We asked our customers whether they wish us to refund at the time of delay announcement. So far, we have already completed issuing refunds to customers who demanded them.

Relocating Mining Operations

Through its Swiss subsidiary, GMO engages in three mining business areas: in-house mining; developing, manufacturing and selling mining machines; and cloud mining.

On Nov. 5, the company released the monthly report of its mining business which shows that 595 BTC and 875 BCH were mined in October. GMO’s total hashrate increased to 674 PH/s during the month from 479 PH/s in the previous month.

Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining EquipmentIn its quarterly earnings presentation, the company still says it aims “to become No. 1 in the field of cryptocurrency.”

The internet giant further detailed that its mining business recorded a loss during the third quarter even though the expansion of mining facilities progressed as planned. The company attributed the loss to a small net sales increase of only 1.249 billion yen ($ 11 million) year-on-year “because of a decline in profitability due to the deteriorated macro environment including stagnant bitcoin price and an increase in hash rate,” reiterating:

Cryptocurrency mining business experienced a decline in profitability due to a downturn in the macro environment.

At Monday’s press conference, GMO Internet’s founder and CEO, Masatoshi Kumagai, unveiled his company’s plan to relocate its mining operations in an effort to boost profitability by lowering electricity and production costs.

The GMO representative confirmed the plan to news.Bitcoin.com. However, he noted that the details of location and timeframe are “under consideration at this moment,” emphasizing that “we have not decided it yet.”

What do you think of GMO postponing the shipments of its 7nm bitcoin mining equipment? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and GMO Internet.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Internet Giant GMO Postpones Shipments of 7nm Bitcoin Mining Equipment appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Japanese woman arrested in connection to stabbing death of US airman

November 13, 2018 |

A Japanese woman was arrested in connection to the death of a U.S. airman last week, who was fatally stabbed while at his off-base residence in Western Tokyo, the Air Force said in a statement.
FOX News

Japanese Regulators Approve a Nuclear First

November 8, 2018 |

In a “move likely to be controversial,” Japanese regulators have granted an operations extension for an aging nuclear reactor similar to the ones at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant that melted down following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, Reuters reports. The 40-year-old Tokai Daini reactor, which was also damaged in 2011,…
Newser

Japanese Regulator: Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law

October 29, 2018 |

Japanese Regulator: Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, has exclusively explained to news.Bitcoin.com how stablecoins are treated under current Japanese law. In addition to emphasizing that they are not virtual currencies, the regulator clarified the registration requirements for their issuers and dealers.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Not Virtual Currencies

Japanese Regulator: Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies Under Current LawJapan’s amended Fund Settlement Law and the amended Payment Services Act which went into effect in April last year regulate the country’s crypto industry. The former defines “virtual currencies,” which include cryptocurrencies, as a means of payment and exempts them from consumption tax. The latter requires cryptocurrency exchange operators to register with the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

With the global rise in popularity of fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies, commonly referred to as stablecoins, news.Bitcoin.com asked the FSA how these coins are treated under Japanese law. The regulator clarified:

In principle, stable coins pegged by legal currencies do not fall into the category of ‘virtual currencies’ based on the Payment Services Act.

On Oct. 9, Japanese internet giant GMO announced that it “will start full-scale preparations to issue stable coins of virtual currency.” GMO Internet’s subsidiary, GMO Coin, operates one of Japan’s 16 registered crypto exchanges. The country also has three other crypto exchanges that the FSA has allowed to operate while their applications are being reviewed.

Registration Requirements

The FSA further explained to news.Bitcoin.com that “Due to its [stablecoin’s] characteristics, it is not necessarily appropriate to suggest what those companies need to obtain or register before issuing stable coins.” Nonetheless, the regulator described:

Generally speaking, companies need to register as the ‘Issuer of Prepaid Payment Instruments’ or the ‘Funds Transfer Service Providers’ based on Payment Services Act, when virtual currency broker dealers trade stable coins.

Japanese Regulator: Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies Under Current LawThere are two types of prepaid payment instruments: those for one’s own business and those for third-party businesses, according to the FSA. Each has its own reporting and registration requirements.

As for fund transfer service providers, the Bank of Japan detailed, “under the Payment Services Act, those registered as fund transfer service providers may perform fund transfer transactions of up to one million yen [$ 9,000]” without a banking license. “In other words, fund transfer transactions of over one million yen are still handled exclusively by banks,” the FSA elaborated, noting:

When a person/an entity engages in exchange transactions of one million yen equivalent or less in the course of trade, registration as a funds transfer service provider is required. For exchange transactions exceeding one million yen, a license for banking business pursuant to the ‘Banking Act’ is required.

How do you think stablecoins should be treated under Japanese law? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Japanese Regulator: Stablecoins Are Not Cryptocurrencies Under Current Law appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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