UPDATE (28th April 17:45 BST): Japan’s Financial Services Agency responded to our request for comment to confirm that the bill is still under deliberations and an enforcement date is not yet determined.
A group of 34 companies from around the world has launched Japan’s first blockchain trade association, created with the aim to promote both investment in startups working with the technology and broader industry collaboration.
The Blockchain Collaborative Consortium includes a wide range of companies ranging from Microsoft Japan to Brooklyn-based ConsenSys, as well as a variety of established Japanese technology companies and startups.
The makeup of the membership more closely aligns with that of the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger, a consortium including technology companies, startups and financial institutions, compared to the consortium run by R3CEV that primarily focuses on banks.
The consortium’s backers say they hope to encourage industry collaboration and information-sharing, while at the same time committing to increase public awareness, according to a TechCrunch Japan report published today.
The group said in a statement:
“We will coordinate with other blockchain organizations around the world. We will bring home what we learn from overseas, and as a leading country of blockchain technology, we will disseminate our expertise and experience globally.”
The establishment of the consortium comes as the Japanese government looks to solidify its regulatory position on digital currencies.
Japan making moves
In February, Japanese regulators reportedly proposed treating digital currencies like bitcoin similarly to conventional currencies. A month later, a Japanese legislator called for a tax exemption on the purchase of bitcoin.
According to an unconfirmed report earlier this week by the Japan Times, senior Japanese government officials had given their approval to legislation that would help integrate digital currency with the traditional banking system.
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