Bitcoin not a currency says Japan government

Bitcoins A number of countries have imposed restrictions on transactions in Bitcoins

Related Stories

Japan's government said Bitcoin is not a currency but that some transactions using the virtual unit should be taxed.

"If there are transactions and subsequent gains, it is natural...for the finance ministry to consider how it can impose taxes," said chief cabinet secretary Yoshihide Suga.

Japan also said banks cannot provide bitcoin as a product to customers.

The government is trying to determine the total volume and value of bitcoins in circulation around the world.

China ban

Some estimates put the global market for Bitcoins, a virtual currency created, or 'mined' through complicated computer algorithms, at about $7bn (£4.2bn).

Countries and their tax authorities have been grappling with how to regulate it, with some seeing it as a route for tax evasion or money laundering.

Russia has declared transactions illegal, China has banned its banks from handling Bitcoin trades, and there have been calls for the US to do the same.

Singapore has imposed a tax on Bitcoin trading and using it to pay for services, after classifying it as goods, rather than a currency.

Last month leading Bitcoin exchange, Tokyo-based MtGox, filed for bankruptcy after losing an estimated 750,000 of its customers' Bitcoins.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Business stories

RSS

Features

  • Pro Israel activists hold a banner reading 'Against Anti-Semitism and hate of Israel' at a demonstration as part of Quds Day in Berlin, Germany, 25 July 2014'Rising tide'

    Do statistics support claims that anti-Semitism is increasing?


  • Police respond to a shooting in Santa MonicaTrigger decision

    What really happens before a police officer fires his gun?


  • Child injured by what activists say were two air strikes in the north-eastern Damascus suburb of Douma (3 August 2014)'No-one cares'

    Hope fades for Syrians one year after chemical attack


  •  Marina Silva speaks during a press conference in Brasilia on 4 October, 2013. Humble origins

    Marina Silva - from rubber tapper to Brazilian presidential candidate


From BBC Capital

Programmes

  • Traffic lightsClick Watch

    From hacking cars to traffic lights - behind the scenes at a cyber-security conference

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.