TOKYO, June 19 Japan's leading Liberal
Democratic Party said it decided against regulating bitcoin for
the time being, after the collapse of Tokyo-based bitcoin
exchange Mt. Gox prompted them to consider more scrutiny of the
Mt. Gox, once the world's biggest bitcoin exchange, filed
for bankruptcy in February after saying hackers stole 750,000
bitcoins belonging to its customers.
"Basically, we concluded that we will, for now, avoid a move
towards legal regulation," Takuya Hirai, an LDP lawmaker who
leads the party's internet media division, said on Thursday,
adding that a final decision would be made after hearing more
opinions on the subject.
The use of electronic currencies has drawn the attention of
governments around the world who are unsure whether, and how, to
regulate them. U.S. agencies ranging from the New York bank
regulator to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission have also
been looking into possible regulation.
A task force of U.S. state regulators is also working on the
first bitcoin rulebook, hoping to protect users of virtual
currency from fraud without smothering the fledgling technology.
(Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)