The bitcoin legalization bill is taken into full effect as of April 1, with Japan officially recognizing bitcoin as a legal payment method.
On December 17, local publications including the Japan Times revealed that the country’s Financial System Council proposed a bill which called for the recognition of bitcoin as a legal payment method and requires bitcoin exchanges to register with the country’s financial regulator the Financial Services Agency. According to a Fuji Chimera Research Institute study, roughly $1.7 billion of cryptocurrency was in circulation throughout Japan in 2015, and this number is expected to increase to nearly $9 billion by 2020, prompting the accommodative regulatory measure.
Currently, bitcoin is legal in the vast majority of countries around the world. However, only a few governments have recognized the legal status of bitcoin in a particular regulatory manner. For instance, the Philippines recently accepted bitcoin as a legal remittance method that can be used within the country to move money from one place to another. As a result, Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policies for bitcoin exchanges, and service providers tightened in the Philippines.