Japanese Finance Minister: Bitcoin is Not Reliable
December 22, 2017
Japanese finance minister, Taro Aso, said that the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin has not yet proved itself as a "reliable currency." He also added that virtual currencies in general are not widely used in Japan.
His claim was made in response to questions about his attitude to French finance minister Bruno Le Maire’s recent statement that Bitcoin and his regulation should be the main topic of discussion at the 2018 G20 summit. Le Maire claimed that Bitcoin poses a risk of speculation and should be regulated, adding:
"There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to review and examine this with all the other G20 members and see how we can manage Bitcoin."
In response to Le Maire's statement, Aso said that the problem of whether or not Bitcoin is indeed a cryptocurrency has yet to be solved by questioning the coin’s “credibility”:
"There is no fixed definition on whether this is a currency or not. This problem is complicated. So far, it has not been proven to be legitimate enough to become a currency, so I need to wait a bit more."
Despite the common belief that the country is actively using Bitcoin, Aso informed that Bitcoin is not widely used in Japan and that Japanese consumers still prefer to use Fiat or a government-backed currency.
However, the finance minister’s remark is controversial as a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and operations are shuffling to Japan, rescuing from anti-cryptocurrency campaigns in countries such as China and South Korea.
According to a report in September, over 50 percent of Bitcoin transactions worldwide were being made in Japanese yen (JPY).