Bitcoin has become an object of affection in Japan.
A new reality series entitled BitGirls is slated to bring bitcoin to the masses. The program is designed to educate the general public about digital currency usage with the help of an all-female cast who “become” digital currencies during the show and complete various challenges. Viewers can support their favorite players by purchasing her tokens and giving her points to move ahead in the competition.
The show will play on Friday nights starting in November, and will be broadcast on Tokyo Metropolitan Television. Producer Takao Asayama explains:
“People have to watch [the] TV live instead of recording it. Otherwise, viewers could miss a good time to sell [or] buy.”
In other news, digital currency users in Japan may be subject to tax relief in the coming months. Members of the Finance Ministry and Financial Services Agency have been discussing the prospects behind “reducing costs for buyers” and lowering taxes for virtual currency exchange operators. Granted headway is made, sales tax on digital currencies could cease as early as next spring.
Japan is the only leading country that taxes bitcoin sales. Last May, bitcoin regulation also became a relatively hot topic when a bill regulating digital currency was introduced to exchange operators. Since Mt. Gox, the country’s reputation has been subjected to backlashing, anger and mistrust amongst digital currency users. Slated to take effect soon, the new bill is aimed at giving digital currency enthusiasts and exchange operators a greater sense of security. The bill will allow the FSA to conduct on-site inspections, and enforce “know your customer” practices, which have often been non-existent in the digital currency arena. The bill also specifically defines virtual money as a form of payment.
It is estimated that there are about 2,500 stores in Japan that accept bitcoin.