Effort to nudge Japan to go cashless with offsets to sales tax hike faces many hurdles
On Oct. 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting that the government would raise the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent next Oct. 1. The tax hike has already been postponed twice owing to jitters over how it might affect consumption. The last consumption tax increase, in 2014, sparked a recession, and reportedly there is still a chance that Abe might postpone the hike once again if economic indicators show a similar scenario. Consequently, the prime minister said the government would do its “utmost to minimize a negative impact on the economy by implementing all sorts of policies.”
Zaif cryptocurrency breach victims remain shortchanged
The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that lost over 7 billion yen ($61.5 million) to hackers last month has yet to repay the victims of the breach, while both industry and regulators seek stronger consumer protections against the risks plaguing the field.
Cryptocurrency industry group eyes tighter rules
A group of cryptocurrency exchange operators plans to tighten self-regulatory measures it follows on the management of customer assets in the wake of another hacking incident in early September, informed sources said Saturday.
Banks embrace blockchain to remain relevant
Global banks such as HSBC and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group along with local players like Japan's Resona Holdings and Bank of Ayudhya in Thailand are embracing blockchain technology to offer lower-cost services as financial technology companies threaten their dominance.