Bitcoin to Become a Legal Tender in Japan

Japan are known for always being at the forefront of new technology and are never afraid to try new things, so it is really no surprise that they have recently passed a law which will make Bitcoins a legal tender in Japan.

Of course, Japan is as intelligent as they are open to technology and so this new law comes with regulations for those companies who are hoping to use the new cryptocurrency to ensure that everything is above board and not being used for criminal activity. An example of these laws includes having a minimum of $100,000 in reserve, be regularly audited by the Japanese National Tax Agency and keep the government informed of their activity.

It is important that consumers are protected, as this is something new that has not yet been tested widely and there are still risks that could come up, especially due to past scams that have taken place in the past online. It is understandable that the government would want to regulate this activity.

To get the license to be able to use Bitcoin as a currency will cost around $300,000 although there is no promise that this fee will get them the license. With such a hefty upfront cost, it is unlikely that smaller, independent companies will be able to adopt Bitcoin which may stop it from becoming entirely widespread in the country.

Unfortunately, some of these smaller businesses may already be using Bitcoin but will have to stop when the license fee comes in as they may not have the cash flow to pay the fee. This has led to a lot of negative comments from small business owners who feel as though this is pushing them out of the market.

In 2015, New York State had a BitLicense law which tracked the use of Bitcoin and required a license to buy and sell them; however, the restrictiveness of the law meant that a whole load of Bitcoin startups refused to carry on working in the state.

Japan’s new laws around Bitcoin are set to come into play in April 2017 and will recognize Bitcoin as a form of “payment” but not necessarily “currency,” which is slightly different. Either way, this should raise the profile of Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency and encourage people who may have previously been nervous and apprehensive about using Bitcoin that it is legitimate.

This is a big step for Japan which could, in the next few years, become more widespread. Watch this space!

Where to find Bitcoin ATM Machines

Bitcoin ATMs look almost identical to the standard ATMs you are likely to see around most towns; however, the functionality is completely different. These are enabled to allow users to both buy Bitcoins from the machine and also withdraw Bitcoins as cash, in a similar way to a usual ATM. These are essentially Bitcoin exchange machines, but out in the “real world” rather than just existing in the online space.


One thing to be aware of when using a Bitcoin ATM is that there are likely to be transaction fees a little higher than you may be used to and these could come as a bit of a surprise if you are not prepared.


So where to find these Bitcoin ATMs?


Well, there are a surprising amount worldwide, especially when you consider the fact that Bitcoin is an online cryptocurrency and that so few places currently accept it in exchange for goods.


If you live on the Isle of Man, for example, you may be worried that your nearest Bitcoin ATM is on the mainland; however, there is, in fact, one machine on the Isle of Man itself - amazing! There is one in Belfast and two in Scotland, namely Glasgow and Edinburgh, of course.


England itself boasts 29 Bitcoin ATM machines, however around 33 of these are in and around the capital of London, which should really come as no surprise.


Looking towards Europe, Spain have a whopping 28 Bitcoin ATMs, where as France have a more humble 10 machines. Greece and Hungary have only 2 a piece, which, looking at their economies makes a whole lot of sense.


There are over 30 machines throughout Canada, and their Finance Minister has announced plans to begin to regulate virtual currencies to ensure the medium is being used safely and not for any terrorist activity, for example.


Canada’s neighbor, the USA has around 600 of the machines spread around various states, so you are unlikely to be very far away from one at any one time should you need to transfer your Bitcoins in a hurry.


Japan, who have recently passed a law to make Bitcoin a legal form of tender have only around 10 ATMs at the moment, but the likelihood is that this will change drastically over the course of this year.


It’s likely that this is only the start of it and as Bitcoin (and other cryptocurrency) popularity grows, the number of ATMs will surely increase too.


How to Use Bitcoin in Shops

If you are new to the world of Bitcoin, you may be quite shocked to see that there are a surprising number of places in the UK that will accept Bitcoin in exchange for goods and services. It is an interesting concept for a cryptocurrency to be used in the “real world,” and Bitcoin is certainly the market leader regarding this, but where exactly can you use your Bitcoin offline?


There is a beautifully rustic cafe in East London called the Saw Mill Cafe, which serves coffee and cakes which can be paid for with satoshis, or if you are looking for a harder tipple, there are a number of pubs where you can use them too. For example, if you’re still in London, the Pembury Tavern in Hackney will accept Bitcoins in exchange for a pint, as will both the Haymakers and The Devonshire Arms in Cambridge. In fact, drinking establishments seem to have been one of the areas that have adopted the form of payment passionately.


Perhaps you’ve had a few too many thanks to the novelty of getting to use your Bitcoins in a pub and maybe you need a ride home. Daniel Hart, from Herefordshire, is one taxi driver who allows punters to pay for journeys via Bitcoin and even boasts Wi-Fi in his car - what more would you need?


Some other great food offerings that will accept Bitcoin include Your Sushi (who have branches from Brighton to Cardiff, Glasgow to Leeds and beyond), The Roasting House and Sheffield’s J. H Mann Fishmongers via We Deliver Local.


For Fairtrade clothing, and percussion instruments there is Natural Flow near Hastings which will allow you to swap Bitcoins for the aforementioned items, and in Brighton at Flawless Clothing, there is custom designed apparel for men and women up for sale too.


If you are a Bitcoin millionaire and you’re feeling pretty flush, you should probably splash out and hire a private jet from Private Fly to somewhere exotic, because after all, you probably deserve it, right?


Keeping with transport, East London Man with a Van do exactly what it says on the tin and will help you move, accepting payment in Bitcoin - ideal for when you’ve made millions in Bitcoin mining and are needing to upgrade your house. We can dream, right?


These are not even to mention the hundreds of retailers online that accept Bitcoin transactions! It may not seem like it at first glance, but a bit of hunting will show that there are a whole load of places you can spend your Bitcoins!


How to Use Bitcoin When Gambling

As Bitcoin was born online, it only seems right that it be the best form of currency to be used when gambling online. Not just because of the online synergy, but for several other reasons too.


For example, Bitcoin is famously private, which for anyone who may be worried about the social stigma that surrounds gambling, this is certainly a plus point to Bitcoin, rather than using a more traditional form of currency. This also stands for the security that Bitcoin offers. As long as you take the necessary precautions, such as protecting your private keys and storing your Bitcoin carefully, your money will be safe. This is not always the case for using banks, as there is always the chance of a gambling website being hacked and your information being stolen.


Another great reason to use Bitcoin for gambling is the speed of payments, which, unlike the other forms of payout, is practically instantaneous. There is also the added bonus that is the cheaper fees that come from using Bitcoin. This is a positive for both the website themselves and players who use Bitcoin.


Using Bitcoin on an online gambling site, whether you are wanting to play slots, bet in a Live Casino, or stake a wager on sports games, is pretty easy and not unlike traditional online gambling sites that accept bank transfers etc.


Registering is very quick and easy, as the sites do not need all your details, which protects your privacy even moreso. You should also expect to be able to play any game imaginable via Bitcoin, although they may not all be on the same site of course!


You will also likely be offered similar bonuses and promotions to more traditional methods of online gambling sites which are something to be aware of, and shop around for if needed. This is one of the best ways that online gambling differs from “real world” casinos, as the bonuses’ are practically endless if you know where to look! From free spins to matched deposits, the casinos are vying for your custom and won’t be shy to show it!


Some great Bitcoin sites are Ignition Gaming, Bovada, Betcoin Poker and Oshi just to name a few, but there really are a huge number of sites offering the ability to use Bitcoin in order to (hopefully) win a little extra satoshis!


Aside from the set up and withdrawal method, everything else will be just the same, so get playing, and good luck!


How to Mine for Bitcoin

Although “mining” may sound like it involves a lot of manual labor, when used in the context of Bitcoin it does not even require leaving your house! Mining is simply the name given to the process in which users discover Bitcoins and does not involve any physical tools at all - other than a computer and the internet of course!


As Bitcoin has grown in popularity, this process has become less lucrative and a little more difficult, however, once you have mastered the basics it isn’t very complicated and can be understood by anyone, given enough time.


To give yourself the best chance of mining Bitcoins, you will want to invest in an ASIC miner - a machine that specialises in mining Bitcoins. Sadly, a graphics card and a PC is no longer enough to break into the competitive area of Bitcoin mining.


Before you begin mining, you will need a place to keep your Bitcoins and in a similar way to your real-world money, this is kept in a wallet; however a Bitcoin wallet is very different to the leather one you keep in your jeans full of coins and notes! There are a huge number of Bitcoin Wallet providers and so it is important to read reviews and ensure that the one you are looking at has the right level of security for your needs. If you are a beginner, you will probably need something that is quick and easy to set up, that may not offer the same level of security that someone who is rolling in Bitcoin may need.


The next step is to find a mining pool to join, where your collective power will allow you to mine Bitcoins. As the world of mining for Bitcoins has changed, a mining pool is the best way to be able to actually find Bitcoins. Through team-work you are each allocated a small chunk of algorithm to solve which adds up to the big algorithm which is the overall goal. Rewards are then shared out between the team (so it is important to check their stats and how they go about distributing the Bitcoins!) and you can withdraw your coins (there is sometimes a charge or fee for withdrawing so make sure you do your research.


The more you mine, the more likely you are to find coins and be given a share from your pool. There might be some software that you have to download before starting, but otherwise it is relatively simple to begin - and quite addictive too! Good luck!


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