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Japan Greenlights Crypto Investments for Venture Capital Firms with New Bill

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Japan Embraces Cryptocurrency: A New Era for Venture Capital Investments

  • Japan’s cabinet approves cryptocurrencies as investment assets for venture capital firms, enhancing the country’s investment landscape.
  • The amendment aligns with Prime Minister Kishida’s “new capitalism” vision, fostering Japan’s web3 industry and offering tax incentives for crypto investments.
  • The decision coincides with regulatory measures for enhanced user protection in cryptocurrency transactions, indicating a balanced approach to innovation and security.

The Japanese cabinet recently approved cryptocurrencies as a new investment option for local investment limited partnerships (LP) firms. Announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry on February 16, 2024, this decision marks an important shift in Japan’s venture capital (VC) investment landscape regarding cryptocurrency.

Japan Approves Cryptocurrencies for VCs

This amendment to the Act on Strengthening Industrial Competitiveness allows venture capital firms to directly invest in cryptocurrency-issuing projects. The government aims this change to enhance Japan’s strategic investment environment, especially for startups and medium-sized companies.

The Japanese Government’s Startup Development Five-Year Plan is a bill aiming to increase startup investments by ten times the 2022 levels by 2027. This legislation seeks to maintain competitiveness with the United States and Europe and promote a new form of capitalism.

Hiro Kunimitsu, CEO of Gumi Inc., a Japanese game development company with its blockchain investment fund, gumi Cryptos Capital, emphasized the value of this legislation. He pointed out that Japanese crypto projects previously faced numerous challenges in securing funding from foreign VCs. The new regulation permits Japanese VCs to invest in crypto assets, opening significant opportunities for Japan’s expanding Web3 startup ecosystem.

Aligning with New Capitalism, Tax Incentives and Web3 Growth

This regulatory shift aligns with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s “new capitalism” vision, under which Japan actively fosters its web3 industry. This decision followed the cabinet’s December approval of a tax regime revision that could exempt companies from taxes on unrealized cryptocurrency profits.

Moreover, the recent amendment to the Industrial Competitiveness Enhancement Act aims to encourage new business creation and increase investment in the industry. This strategy is part of Japan’s larger plan to boost economic drivers, focusing on support for medium-sized companies and startups.

While Japan’s legislative body still needs to deliberate this legislative change, it could significantly reshape how venture capital operates in the Web3 sector in Japan. It might even set a precedent for other nations in terms of cryptocurrency investment policies.

Balancing Innovation and Security: Regulatory Measures in Crypto Transactions

The timing of this decision is also notable, coinciding with recent initiatives by Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA). The FSA has proposed measures to protect users from illegal transfers, including those involving cryptocurrencies. In response, the FSA and the National Policing Agency (NPA) are urging banks to improve user protection measures. Part of these initiatives includes a requirement for banks to increase surveillance of suspicious transactions to cryptocurrency exchange providers.

Japan’s recent approval for venture capital firms to invest in cryptocurrencies signifies a significant policy transformation. It demonstrates the country’s dedication to creating a vibrant investment environment for its growing Web3 sector while ensuring regulatory oversight for user protection.

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