With major issues going on at Tokyo-based Mt. Gox with regard to users getting their funds out, some are turning to to Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) with the hope the banking watchdog can possibly help in some manner.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. A Wall Street Journal report indicates the FSA is declining to get involved in the drama.
“Bitcoin isn’t a currency; it works as an alternative to currencies, like gold,” said a spokesperson for the agency. “The FSA is in charge of currency-based services. Therefore, bitcoin exchanges are not a subject to our regulatory oversight.”
Other entities in the country are taking similar positions, with the Bank of Japan noting that they are “not in a position” to regulate bitcoin exchanges and the digital currency as a whole.
The Ministry of Finance in the country said, “We are not in a position to make any judgments on this matter.”
For consumers, this is first-hand experience as to what a regulation-free, non-government backed system is like. With nobody to put pressure on exchanges, they can essentially do as they please — even if it means preventing one from withdrawing their own money. via Wall Street Journal.