Category Archives: japanese

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Japan Approves Trial for Yen-Backed Stablecoin Settlement

Japan Approves Trial for Yen-Backed Stablecoin Settlement

A subsidiary of Japanese internet group Digital Garage has been approved for the first blockchain finance project authorized by the government’s new regulatory sandbox. Crypto Garage will test the issuance of a Japanese yen-backed stablecoin using Blockstream, a Bitcoin infrastructure startup.

Excited to announce @CryptoGarageInc, a Joint Venture between @DigitalGarage, Tokyo Tanshi & @Blockstream, developing #SETTLENET & $JPY #stablecoin for #LiquidNetwork. Alongside the JV, @Blockstream took an additional $10MM strategic investment from DG. 🌊 https://t.co/mOvMsogMOX pic.twitter.com/j82dusL2gO

— Blockstream (@Blockstream) January 21, 2019

A new platform called SettleNet has been launched by Crypto Garage with development aid from Blockstream to conduct the trials, which utilizes the latter’s inter-exchange settlement network Liquid. Settlenet will be used both to test the issuance of the stablecoin as well as conduct payment settlements between it and alternative cryptocurrency assets.

The proof-of-concept trial has been proposed to last the length of one year and will involve only Japanese licensed cryptocurrency exchanges with trades between the yen-backed stablecoin and Blockstream’s Bitcoin-pegged token, Liquid Bitcoin (L-BTC), taking place with restricted volumes for now.

According to Crypto Garage, the network will allow atomic swaps between the two digital currencies for instant trades, creating ”rapid, secure and confidential transfer of the crypto assets while eradicating counterparty risk”.

Digital Garage has been working alongside Blockstream since November 2017 to develop blockchain financial solutions in Japan. The Cabinet Secretariat of Japan is responsible for managing this trial.

 

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Japanese Committee Fights to Simplify Crypto Tax

One Japanese political committee has taken it upon itself to fight for a simplified cryptocurrency tax plan.

The Government Taxation Investigation Committee (GTIC), which serves as an advisory body to the Prime Minister, began discussions on Wednesday to propose a simplified cryptocurrency tax payment plan, which they say is currently unnecessarily complex in Japan.

The committee argues that because there are many kinds of cryptocurrency profits that require taxation alongside capital gains. Taxpayers are failing to declare the correct total in their tax returns as the process is simply too complex.

The profit obtained by selling cryptocurrency is currently accounted for as miscellaneous income, with crypto earnings over JPY 200,000 (USD 1,783) subject to income tax.

However, cryptocurrency is taxed not only on the gains from the disparity between the acquisition price and the selling price but also on the profit obtained by its exchange with other virtual currency or conversion to fiat. Even if a product is purchased using the digital currency which then accrues an unexpected financial appreciation, it remains subject to taxation.

Another issue arises as the method of storing the transaction history data necessary for the profit calculation is different with each cryptocurrency exchange company, meaning it is particularly challenging for Japanese taxpayers to configure the correct totals.

Offering a solution

GTIC says that a whole new system is required that can accurately reflect the income and profit in an accessible way.

Local news outlet Sankei reports that officials from GTIC shared in a press conference: “Since it is necessary to take into consideration the framework other than the taxation system and business practices as well, we will hold a small expert meeting and outside opinions. I will deepen the discussion while listening. ”

The future system would be required to “grasp the asset price appropriately.”

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Japan’s Largest Bank Partners with US Tech Giant for Blockchain Payment Service

The biggest bank in Japan has partnered with a US tech company to design a blockchain capable of handling 1 million transactions per second, boosting speed and reducing transaction feeds through distributed ledger technology.

MUFG and Akamai partnership

The Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) partnered with US-based Akamai to deliver a new global payment network service, which is intended to be available from 2019 and will be compatible with Internet of Things (IoT) style payments and other emerging technologies.

“MUFG and Akamai, using Akamai’s globally deployed high-speed and high-security platform, will utilize this new blockchain’s high-speed processing and secure value transfer abilities to promote pay-per-use, micropayments, and other new IoT generation payment methods, and to support the diverse payment options of the sharing economy by offering an open platform,” reads the 21 May press release.

The new blockchain developed contrasts with the original cryptocurrency Bitcoin, which was built on the first blockchain in the world and can only process seven transactions per second; the distributed ledger developed by MUFG and Akamai is “permissioned”, which means that verified computers are the only ones able to join the network.

Risk and reward

MUFG and Akamai detailed the growing interest in blockchain technologies and highlighted its capacity to “strengthen protection against falsification of transactions and drastically lower costs”, as well as the fact that financial institutions across the globe are partnering with tech companies to also test proof of concept designs.

While the technology is reported to “create new risks for banks”, the Japanese financial giant has embraced it with Akamai, which according to the press release is “the world’s largest and most trusted cloud delivery platform”.

Blockchain has been receiving surging amounts of interest from governments and institutions since ICOs and cryptocurrency markets exploded in 2017. Industry heavyweights such as IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and JPMorgan are making bold steps toward adopting the disruptive technology, which will only contribute to the future successes of the blockchain industry.

Blockchain, banking, and a cryptocurrency

Earlier in May, the Japanese financial giant reported that it had intentions of trialing its own cryptocurrency in 2019, which lines up perfectly with the intended release date for the new blockchain service.

As reported by Japanese local news outlet NHK, the fifth largest bank in the world by assets will be rolling out a trial app to approximately 100,000 MUFG account holders who can install the app on their smartphones and convert their deposits into the MUFG coin; one MUFG coin will be worth one Japanese yen. Users will also be able to use the currency wherever they so please and transfer the currency to accounts of other participants.

It is a clear indication that the global stance on blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies is shifting toward the mainstream. Should the partnership and digital currency trial be successful, it will prove a transformative moment for the industry, financial institutions and society.

 

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Tech Giant Fujitsu Announces Blockchain Center In Europe

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu has recently announced the opening of its first Blockchain Innovation Center, located in Brussels, Belgium, with the aim of supporting research, developmen and innovation. Fujitsu has selected Brussels as the venue of choice because of its diverse political, technical advantages.

Witnessing the adoption of blockchain technology and distributed ledger technology (DTL), big tech giants such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon are just a few companies who are looking to integrate this technology into their companies framework, thus providing them with a transparent and more secure network.

Fujitsu sees blockchain technology as a step in the right direction for the IT sector, enabling a new model for businesses to buy, sell and distribute. Fujitsu aims to use the technology in some different business sectors such as supply chains and logistics, storing public records, and identity documents.

Fujitsu focused on becoming a worldwide leading contender for smart cities, Frederik De Breuck, Presales and Business Assurance Director of Fujitsu Benelux stated: “We believe blockchain technology plays a significant role in the development of smart cities. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and by 2050 this number is expected to increase to 66%. Cities need to adapt to these developments and become smart cities that connect ITC’s technologies with infrastructure and architectures to solve social, economic and environmental challenges”.

While new adaptions of blockchain will lean to a smarter future, changes will drive economic growth and forgo social and environmental problems.

Additionally, in the current economic adoption stage, companies such as IBM and Walmart are launching a blockchain food safety alliance in China by collaborating with China’s largest retailer JD.com, a member of the NASDAQ-100 and Fortune Global 500.

 

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