Good prospects for Bitcoin thanks to its acceptance by Japan and Russia

The declaration of Bitcoin as a legal asset in Japan and the change of perception by the Russian authorities towards the digital currency have generated an increase in its price and it is estimated that it will escalate further in the near future for related reasons.

The positive news from Japan and Russia has caused the stabilization of Bitcoin price above $1,000 (since early April), and is starting to push for a new record of $1,263.

Since April 1, Bitcoin’s price has risen from $1070 to peak at this month´s high of $1227 on April 11. At the time of writing, Bitcoin is quoted at around $1218 according to BitcoinAverage. Bitcoin’s market value has risen from around $17.5 billion on April 1 to more than $19.5 billion on April 20, according to data compiled by CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin has become important in Japan

Japan officially recognized Bitcoin as a legal payment method on April 1, giving the currency an immediate price increase after the announcement. Not only can Bitcoin be legally used in Japan to make purchases and send remittances, but the digital currency is also exempt from sales tax.

In addition, after the legalization, two large retailers announced their intention to offer Bitcoin as a payment method in their stores. Retail giants Bic Camera and Recruit Lifestyle have announced that they will evaluate payments with bitcoins, warned of a possible increase in the use of cryptocurrency for consumer purchases.
Since Japan has become a trading hub for Bitcoin, the positive news has left the country not only boosted local demand, but also increased the purchase of bitcoins worldwide.

Russia is changing its tune toward Bitcoin

At the same time, Russia, one of the strongest opponents of bitcoin is seeking to regulate the digital currency.

As knowing, Russia has been a tricky jurisdiction for bitcoin users and startups; since the Bank of Russia banned its use in 2014 for fear it could undermine the Russian ruble.

However, at the end of 2016, the sentiment toward bitcoin in Russia started to change. The Russian Federal Tax Service issued a letter in October 2016 that stated that under Russian law digital currencies are not illegal and that there are no prohibitions for citizens or companies when it comes to dealing with them. While this letter was a clear change in sentiment by Russian authorities, it gave no clear indication of how digital currencies will be regulated in Russia.

Deputy Finance Minister Alexey Moiseev told Bloomberg in an interview last week that the authorities hope to recognize bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a legal financial instrument in 2018 in a bid to tackle money laundering.

“The state needs to know who at every moment of time stands on both sides of the financial chain,” Moiseev told Bloomberg.

“If there’s a transaction, the people who facilitate it should understand from whom they bought and to whom they were selling, just like with bank operations.”

In the same line on February 21 Nikita Smirnov vice president of the state-owned bank Vnesheconombank had some positive things to say about the digital currency bitcoin as well. In fact, Smirnov believes the Bitcoin network is the only “successful” blockchain technology.

This mentality changing along with the increasing state regulation around bitcoin could make the cryptocurrency an attractive investment for investors who previously shied away from it due to the high risk and price swings, as well as certainly push the price of bitcoin to new highs in the months to come.

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