The Japanese Government Discloses Plans to Invest in Metaverse and NFTs
- Japan is witnessing a surge in local interest in cryptocurrency.
- The Japanese government has also embraced new policies that would prevent the use of cryptocurrency for crimes such as money laundering.
The Prime Minister of Japan, Fumio Kishida, has revealed the country’s interest in promoting Web3 services in Japan, including projects dealing with NFTs ( non-fungible tokens) and the metaverse. While speaking before Japan’s National Diet, Fumio noted that the Japanese government was committed to improving living standards through technologies such as blockchain. The 65-year-old added that Japan would “promote efforts to expand the use of Web 3.0 services that utilize the metaverse and NFTs.”
As part of its plans to advance Web3 in Japan, the nation’s government will issue NFTs to local authorities already using technology to solve challenges in their regions. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio also hinted at the possibility of digitizing the national identity card.
Fumio further revealed that Japan would expand its technological investments to include the production of semiconductors as well as work on regulatory reform for the tech industry. It is worthy of note that Japan’s use of cryptocurrency has greatly increased since Fumio took office in 2021.
The Revival of Japan’s Crypto Market
For the first time in four years, Japan recently saw the revival of crypto ATMs after local crypto exchange firm Gaia Co., Ltd announced plans to issue ATMs that support Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).
However, crypto ATMs are not a strange sight in Japan, having made their debut in 2014. But, the nation has not had any operational digital asset ATMs since the crypto winter of 2018, when the local exchange, Coincheck, was compromised for $530 million, bringing the local market to its knees and snuffing out interest in crypto ATMs.
A series of other notable hacks, including a $500 million hack on the Mt. Gox crypto exchange in 2014, further decreased state interest in digital assets and the government opted to take a hands-off approach and delegate oversight to the self-regulatory agency, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).
However, state interest in crypto has been revived in recent months, and Japanese authorities are seeking ways to tighten loose ends and make the industry safer for locals. According to a new report, the Japanese government is working on introducing new rules for remittances that will prevent the use of cryptocurrency for crimes such as money laundering.
As part of the new rules, crypto exchanges will have to share customer information with authorities. The information required will include customers’ names and addresses as well when they transfer crypto between exchanges. The rule will reportedly provide Japanese authorities with extra monitoring abilities to track financial transfers by people engaged in fraudulent acts.
Crypto exchanges in Japan have been negotiating with the country’s government about sharing customer information since last March, when the nation’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) ordered local exchanges to adopt a structure to comply with the travel rule, which embodies the recommended anti-money laundering guidelines by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Many local exchanges have expressed concerns about the high cost of compliance and are still in talks with authorities.