Japan has officially recognized bitcoin and digital currencies as legal money along the lines of other fiat currencies with effect from April 1, 2017. The recognition comes after implementation of a new law amending Banking Act in Japan for legalizing these currencies. It will help in integration of digital currency into legal banking system through regulatory scrutiny.
The recognition means regulations governing banks and financial institutions will be applicable to crypto-currency and digital currencies exchange platforms They will be also required to comply with strict Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements, along with annual audits. Other requirements include meeting the stated capital and cyber security requirements to ensure consumer protection. It also makes these digital currencies as “property of value,” meaning that they can be used for payment in the broader marketplace and that it may be bought or sold.
What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a form of digital currency or virtual currency created and held electronically. No one controls it that is not regulated by any central bank or government. They aren’t printed, like dollars or euros – they’re produced by people, and increasingly businesses, running computers all around the world, using software that solves mathematical problems.
It is also called a “cryptocurrency” since it is decentralized and uses cryptography to prevent double-spending, a significant challenge inherent to digital currencies. Bitcoin is a distributed peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the inter-mediation of any central authority. It can also be traded on an open market and its exchange rate fluctuates much like a stock market i.e. based on the demand.