Japan: how crypto investors became richer last year

Mainstream media outlets in South Korea and Japan JoongAng and Nikkei have reported that the National Tax Agency (NTA) of Japan is fully aware that 331 investors in the Japanese cryptocurrency sector recorded a profit of $1 million through trading, generating more than $331 million in total.

By the end of 2017, NTA reported that 21.98 million in Japan declared taxes to the government, generating more than 41.4 billion yen. The NTA revealed that the amount of taxes it garnered last year increased by more than 3 percent from 2016, primarily due to the improvement in Japan’s economy.

Out of the 21.98 million individuals that filed taxes to the government, 549 individuals recorded a non-operational or non-working profit of $1 million, which is often generated by investments into stocks, assets, commodities, and properties. Out of the 549 individuals, 331 were cryptocurrency investors that made well over a million dollars in profit in the Japanese cryptocurrency market.

In 2017, the Japanese government, Financial Services Agency (FSA), and NTA announced that local monetary authorities would tax up to 55 percent on non-operational profit generated by investments. This February, Bloomberg reported that the Japanese government hinted its intent to tax up to 55 percent on cryptocurrency investment, especially on individuals that have made more than 40 million yen, worth around $365,000.

But, the Japanese government did not clarify its policy on cryptocurrency taxes and investors admitted their lack of confidence in the cryptocurrency market.

“The government hasn’t clarified certain details, so you’re left unsure whether you’ve got it right or not,” said blockchain technology consultant Hiroyuki Komiya.

Major Japanese bank Mitsubishi UFC last week announced it was planning an 100,000 participant trial using its own cryptocurrency for payments and transfers.

Back in April it was revealed that at least 3.5 million people were trading cryptocurrency across the nation, expanding voume frm $22 million in 2014 to $97 billion in 2017. Young male professionals in particular are leaning into the sector, with 14 per cent of businessmen aged 25-30 owning crypto.

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing, as Japan has issued various clampdowns on exchanges in light of cybersecurity incidents, following much of the rest of the world with its stance on consumer protection over innovation.