A Japanese insurance firm is reportedly planning to launch a new policy line aimed at bitcoin exchanges.
According to Nikkei, Mitsui Suitomo Insurance is working with Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange bitFlyer to develop the policy. The publication reported that the insurer will offer as much as 1bn yen (roughly $9m USD at press time) in terms of coverage, with premiums ranging as high as "several million yen". It's not immediately clear when the insurance product would be launched.
The launch within Japan would be notable given the collapse of Mt Gox, the now-defunct bitcoin exchange that fell apart in 2014, resulting in the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin. While the Mitsui Suitomo policy would only cover a fraction of that amount, the launch could offer a degree of comfort to users, as well as regulators overseeing activity in the digital currency exchange space.
News of the insurance product comes as Japan's financial services industry adopts a generally more aggressive stance toward digital currencies and blockchain.
Earlier this month, a group of 42 Japanese banks joined SBI and distributed ledger startup Ripple to form a new cross-border payments consortium. Individual firms, particularly banks, have tested a variety of applications in recent months.
Japan's government has set the stage for such action as well.
In October, local sources reported that national finance regulators were weighing whether to scrap a sales tax on bitcoin purchases. Regulators and members of the country's legislature have already moved in the past year to rethink bitcoin exchange oversight.
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