Japan: No Bitcoin Tax, Thousands of Stores to Accept the Cryptocurrency

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bitcoin tax
Bitcoin IMG_3151 | btckeychain | Flickr.com

After Japan officially eliminated consumption tax on the sale of Bitcoin, Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd. announced early this week that their point-of-sales (POS) app called “Mobile Payment for Air Regi” is now ready to accept Bitcoin payments.

While Japan’s tax reform bill only came into effect last July 1, the Japanese government has officially recognized Bitcoin as a legal payment since April 1st, 2017.

The bill, which was first proposed by the Komeito Party and the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party as a 2017 tax reform revision last December 8, 2016, exempts Japanese cryptocurrency holders from paying 8% consumption tax. The 193rd ordinary session of the Japanese National Diet passed the bill on March 27th of this year.

Since recognizing Bitcoin as an official payment currency, the Japanese government has been focusing its efforts in stabilizing the cryptocurrency environment for Bitcoin traders, users, and businesses. Passing the tax reform bill is considered a major part of the government’s initiative to make cryptocurrency trading frictionless in the country. With this bold move, the government is expecting a massive increase in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trade activities within Japan’s cryptocurrency exchange market.

The Japanese government also ensured that the country’s Bitcoin exchange market is well regulated by putting Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) systems in place. AML policies are particularly strict not just in Japan but other countries like South Korea. These policies tighten the country’s money transfer security and allow local trading platforms to monitor traders and prevent them from using Bitcoin to move suspicious amounts of money to and from Japan.

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Bitcoin Integration Into Japanese Marketplace: No Bitcoin Tax

Recruit Lifestyle’s vision of integrating Bitcoin into AirRegi came into reality last Monday when the company announced that their POS system is all set to accept Bitcoin payments. The announcement came two days after the government officially removed the consumption tax for cryptocurrency holders.

Last April, Bitcoin.com reported that Recruit Lifestyle Co., Ltd. has partnered with Coincheck, a leading Japanese Bitcoin exchange company, for its POS (AirRegi) to accept Bitcoin payments.

AirRegi tablet-based POS
AirRegi tablet-based POS | air-regi.com

AirRegi is a widely used, tablet-based point-of-sale app in Japan. Currently, around 260,000 establishments, stores, and commercial facilities use this proprietary app to accept payments from their clients.

Megane Super, a Japanese chain of 334 eyeglasses stores that use AirRegi already confirmed that they would accept Bitcoin payments starting July 10th. The store believes in the convenience offered by the cryptocurrency and expects an increase in their user base, especially from Europe and the U.S.

Coincheck International Business Developer, Kagayaki Kawabata, confirmed to Bitcoin.com that Megane Super’s chain of eyeglasses stores is just the first among the 260,000+ stores that will accept Bitcoin payments through the AirRegi app.

Kawabata, in his interview with Bitcoin added:

Some other stores are also preparing Air Regi Bitcoin payments…Also, adding to existing 260,000 stores that already use Air Regi, we will cooperate with Recruit Lifestyle to expand the stores that accept Bitcoin.

Coincheck was also actively engaged in signing up more merchants to accept Bitcoin directly these past months. Last June, Japan’s largest budget hotel chain, Capsule Hotel, has started accepting Bitcoin payments facilitated by Coincheck. Aside from Capsule Hotel in Akihabara, Kai Corporation also signed up with the Bitcoin exchange company to accept cryptocurrency payments.

Do you think that Japan’s move to eliminate the Bitcoin tax will have a significant impact in the Japanese marketplace? Let us know in the comments section below!

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