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Japan says Bitcoin transactions not a currency but taxable

Published on Mar 7, 2014 9:27 AM

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's government said on Friday that Bitcoin is not a currency but that it "is natural" that transactions involving the virtual unit should be taxed.

"As a matter of common sense, if there are transactions and subsequent gains, it is natural... for the finance ministry to consider how it can impose taxes," Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters.

His comments, in the wake of the spectacular failure of the Tokyo-based MtGox trading exchange last week, come as the government studies formal regulations for the unit after its reliability was called into question.

Regulators around the world are grappling with how to handle the currency.

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