In a statement Tuesday, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso claimed that the leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin has yet to prove itself as a “credible currency”. He also added that virtual currencies in general are not widely used in Japan.
His statement was in response to questions about his position on French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire’s recent statement that he wants Bitcoin and its regulation to be a topic of discussion at the 2018 G20 summit.
Le Maire claimed that Bitcoin poses a risk of speculation and should be regulated, saying:
“There is evidently a risk of speculation. We need to consider and examine this and see how (…) with all the other G20 members we can regulate Bitcoin.”
In response to Le Maire’s comments, Aso said that the issue of whether or not Bitcoin is actually a currency has yet to be settled, questioning the coin’s “credibility”:
“There’s no fixed definition on whether it’s a currency or not. This issue is a difficult one. It has not yet been proven to be credible enough to become a currency, so I need to watch for a little while more.”
Performance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Japan
Despite the common belief that the country is going “all in” with Bitcoin, Aso said that Bitcoin is not widely used in Japan and that Japanese consumers still prefer to use fiat, or government-backed currency.
However, the Finance Minister’s remark is disputable as a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and operations are relocating to Japan, fleeing campaigns against them in countries such as China.
According to a report in September, over over 50 percent of Bitcoin trades worldwide were being made in Japanese Yen (JPY).