Japan LDP official: Bitcoin rule needed for consumer protection

TOKYO Wed Mar 5, 2014 4:23am EST

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TOKYO (Reuters) - A senior official of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party said on Wednesday that regulation of the bitcoin is necessary to protect consumers and the party is debating whether the virtual currency should be subjected to asset tax.

Earlier, people familiar with the matter said Japan will this week clarity the legal handling of bitcoin, the first sign that the government is taking action on regulating the virtual money after last week's collapse of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox, once the world's largest bitcoin exchange.

(Reporting by Takaya Yamaguchi; Writing by Kaori Kaneko; Editing by Dominic Lau)

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