Japan Considers Bitcoin ETF

- January 8th, 2019

Japan’s decision to consider cryptocurrency-related ETFs comes at a time when US regulatory agencies are delaying or rejecting bitcoin ETFs.

Japan might be on the path towards a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF), Bloomberg reported on Monday (January 7).

According to the publication, an unnamed source familiar with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) said the entity is establishing “industry interest” in terms of digital currency ETFs.

The country’s move to consider a bitcoin ETF comes during a time when regulators in the US — such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) — have continuously delayed or rejected a number of decisions related to bitcoin ETFs.

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Bloomberg’s report said the FSA reported in late December that it will provide more “oversight power” to self-regulatory bodies, investigate initial coin offerings deeper under its securities law and “cap leverage” that can be provided by cryptocurrency brokers.

The findings, Bloomberg said, will provide the basis for a bill the country’s Liberal Democratic Party may likely present at the current Diet session ending in March. According to the publication, it is the party’s goal to make the bill a law by 2020.

According to the report, these decisions come after months of investigating why it didn’t prevent the Coincheck hack that happened in January of last year. Bloomberg’s January 2018 article said that more than US$500 million in digital currencies was compromised . By November, it was reported that all services on its platform had been reinstated for its listed cryptocurrencies.

Should the bitcoin ETF in Japan follow through, it would be the first official bitcoin ETF in the world. Bloomberg’s report comes on the heels of the Winklevoss’ brothers hosting an Ask Me Anything (AMA) on social media platform Reddit on Monday. During the AMA, Cameron Winklevoss disclosed that the brothers are “committed as ever to making an ETF a reality.”

Since the start of the new year, bitcoin has been on the steady increase, rising from US$3,754.82 on January 1 to reach US$4,031.55 as of 7:17 p.m. EST on Tuesday (January 8).

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

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