Japan to Treat Bitcoin as a Commodity, Regulating and Taxing Transactions
A week after Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox shut down, Japan's major financial newspaper Nikkei is reporting that the Japanese government is proposing new rules to regulate and tax bitcoin transactions, "defining the virtual currency as a commodity rather than a currency." Bitcoin trades via online exchanges, purchases made with bitcoins, and revenue made from bitcoin transactions will all be taxed. In addition, banks will be prohibited from handling bitcoins and security firms will be prohibited from brokering bitcoin trades.
Japan is not the first, nor will it likely be the last, country to concern itself with the bitcoin market. Russia has already declared the use of bitcoins illegal, while the United States is currently considering "legal options for regulating virtual currencies such as bitcoin."