The hopes of getting cryptocurrency legalized in of the pioneer nations in term of technology met a serious blow on Tuesday. Finance Minister of Japan, Taro Aso said that the Japanese government does not find cryptocurrency credible enough yet.
The French Finance Minister had recently said a discussion would be proposed regarding the regulation of cryptocurrency in the upcoming G-20 meet for economics. However, when asked about for a comment on this, Aso denied any near possibilities of legalizing bitcoin and other altcoins. In his words:
“There’s no fixed definition on whether it’s a currency or not. This issue is a difficult one. It has not yet been proven to be credible enough to become a currency, so I need to watch for a little while more.”
Also further clarified that while countries like China may be willing to use cryptocurrency as a valid mode of payment, people in Japan usually prefer hard currency. So, "usage" is not a valid reason to legalize it anyway.
The discussion around the world regarding cryptocurrency was triggered by the sudden, exponential price surge in various cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, the first and most popular cryptocurrency in the market, exhibited a rise of more than 1700%, while almost touching the $18 thousand limit. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum and Litecoin showed similar gains. While investors around the world are now jumping the bandwagon to share a part of the profit, governments around the world are worried.
A few days earlier, Japan-based GMO Group announced to pay a part of the salaries of their employees in form of bitcoin. While being the first such initiative taken by a mainstream company, it also raised hopes that Japan might finally pave way for legalizing cryptocurrency. Yet, the statement of Aso extinguished such hopes.
However, Japan has its reason to be wary. While the number of cryptocurrency users grows rapidly around the globe, its exponential price surge with no clear explanation gives rise to fear of a bubble. Thus, almost every country is exercising caution while regulating cryptocurrency in trade.