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Japan to recognize Bitcoin as legal

Monday 3 April 2017 | 09:47 AM CET

Japan’s Governor has announced that beginning with April 1st will start recognizing Bitcoin as a legal method of payment.

Following months of debate, the country's legislature passed a law that brings Bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, while also categorizing Bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument. The debate began in the wake of the collapse of Mt Gox, the Bitcoin exchange that was shut down, revealing insolvency and alleged fraud.

According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency, the new law puts in place capital requirements for exchanges as well as cybersecurity and operational stipulations. Furthermore, those exchanges will also be required to conduct employee training programs and submit to annual audits.

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