It looks like the unprecedented growth of bitcoin – both concerning dollar-valuation and popularity – has thrown the financial world into a kind of frenzy. While many are still undecided what to make out of this relatively new phenomenon, others seem convinced that the future of bitcoin is just too promising to ignore.
Following the Bitcoin down the Rabbithole
In less than a week the likes of Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) will launch their own Bitcoin derivatives futures products. But they’re not alone in the race.
Taking a cue from its US rivals, one of Japan’s largest financial exchanges, the Tokyo Financial Exchange (TFX), has decided that the time is ripe to offer its bitcoin futures.
A heavyweight in Japan, the TFX is independent of the country’s primary trading platform, the Japan Exchange Group Inc. It counts the likes of Barclays Bank Plc and JPMorgan Chase & Co. among its trading participants. On December 5, the Tokyo-based futures exchange announced that come January 2018, it would commission a working group to study cryptocurrencies including bitcoin.
TFX CEO Shoza Ohta, in a conversation with the Press, said that the listing of bitcoin futures would require modifications in the country’s securities law.
It is important to note here that in Japan, starting a working group is usually seen as the first step toward drafting new legislation. “Once the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act recognizes cryptocurrencies as financial products, we will list the futures as quickly as possible,” as reported by the Bloomberg.
Ohta continued by mentioning the importance of a thorough investigation into the subject:
“To achieve that, we will launch this working group to study various aspects, including Bitcoin’s present status, its outlook, and what form it will take root in Japan’s society.”
Japan Taking Steps Towards a Blockchain Future
It looks like it’s only a matter of time now till Japan amends its bitcoin legislation to include cryptocurrencies as financial products. Japan is already far ahead of most countries when it comes to embracing digital currency and Blockchain technologies in general.
The country is one of the largest bitcoin trading markets, for instance, and boasts a friendly legal framework that approves virtual currencies as a legitimate payment method.
As it was one of the first few countries to accept cryptocurrency, a large section of Japan’s population is educated about bitcoin and other virtual currencies. In a related development, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) approved the launch of four new virtual currency exchanges during ealry December. The newly adopted exchanges are the second batch of companies to have been authorized by the regulators.
With this, the country currently offers 15 licensed exchanges where people can legally trade cryptocurrencies, bitFlyer being the largest among them.
The FSA says it has more applications queued up for approval, adding that as many as 12 companies did not qualify the screening process as they failed to meet the agency’s registration criteria. All disapproved exchanges were made to cease their operations immediately.