Japan, Digital Asset

Lawmaker behind Japan’s relaxed digital asset policy seeks modified rules

Masaaki Taira, head of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party Web3 division, has urged the government to relax the rules guiding the industry to foster increased adoption, according to a Bloomberg report.

Taira revealed in an interview that although the country had notched impressive adoption metrics in the last few months, there is still room for improvement.

“I don’t think we can stop here,” he replied when quizzed on the state of the digital asset industry in Japan.

The lawmaker stated that he was working on a white paper to explore ways to improve taxation and listing new digital assets, which have come under criticism for being unfriendly to investors. Taira’s incoming white paper will also delve into decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and how they can be incorporated into the country’s legal system.

This could spell new rules for the industry. Currently, the Japan Virtual and Crypto Assets Exchange Association (JVCEA), an organization evaluating digital asset listings for Financial Services Agency, is pining for new rules to scrap the tedious screening process for tokens.

In March, Taira changed the status quo by publishing a white paper for the country’s regulatory framework, which pundits have hailed for changing the government’s stance toward virtual currencies. After Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that blockchain would be part and parcel of Japan’s plans to rejuvenate its digital economy, Taira was widely regarded as the man behind the decision.

It is expected that new rules could kick into effect sometime in December, making it, perhaps, the final piece of digital asset regulation to crown what has been an iconic year for Japan’s ecosystem.

From digital asset paradise to stiffer rules

In the early days, Japan was once a preferred destination for digital asset firms, being home to Mt Gox, the world’s largest virtual currency exchange.

Several digital asset service providers flocked to the country to take advantage of the lax regulatory policy, but it was not to last. Things quickly turned following the $500 million hack of Coincheck, which rattled regulators, forcing them to clamp on the industry.

Meanwhile, Binance left Japan in 2018 after the FSA warned the exchange that it was operating illegally without a license. Following the relaxation of stiff rules, Binance is looking to return to the country that plays home to Crypto.com and FTX.

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