Australia Says Bitcoin is Money – Japan says Bitcoin can’t be owned

A couple different views on Bitcoin have come out this week, Australia and Japan both made statements regarding the digital or cryptocurrency.

Bryon Kaye of Reuters reported earlier in the week that Australia will look to treat digital currencies as money, making things straightforward for their citizens.

From the article:

SYDNEY An Australian government inquiry will recommend treating digital currencies as money, simplifying tax for people who trade with them while forcing bitcoin exchanges to monitor customers for potential money laundering and terrorism financing activities.

The Senate committee recommendations, included in a report to be tabled in parliament next week and obtained in advance by Reuters, underscore governments’ growing acceptance of the role of so-called “cryptocurrencies” around the world.

If implemented, the changes would align Australia with the United Kingdom and Spain by having people pay sales tax just once if they buy something with bitcoin, while leaving other nations like Sweden to fret over its true legal status.

Read the full article here

Moving on to Japan, a Tokyo district court ruled that Bitcoin cannot be owned, this is all coming about due to the failure of Mt. Gox.

(@GCaffyn) of CoinDesk reported:

Tokyo’s District Court has ruled that bitcoin is “not subject to ownership”, with a judge informing a plaintiff he could not claim for bitcoins lost in the Mt Gox collapse.

Judge Masumi Kurachi stated that, due to their intangible nature and reliance on third parties, bitcoins cannot be covered under existing law.

Kurachi’s comments, reported by The Japan Times, came during a lawsuit bought against bankrupt bitcoin exchange Mt Gox by an unnamed Kyoto resident.

Representing himself in court, the plaintiff had demanded repayment of 458 bitcoins, today worth $128,144, that were held in his account when the exchange shuttered last year.


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