As part of an effort to prevent people from confusing digital currencies with government-issued legal tender, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has decided to categorize digital currencies as crypto-assets, according to reports that cite details learned by Japanese newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun.
A Japan Times report on Monday noted that the decision was made after the FSA received an advisory panel report that determined that terms like “virtual currency” could create confusion. The panel’s recommendations included urging the agency to use a different term to describe coins like Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies.
The decision to re-categorize digital currencies will reportedly require officials to revise existing legal statutes and regulations to reflect the change in language. For example, the term “virtual currencies” is used throughout the country’s Payment Services Law, so any change in the agency’s official terminology will need to be reflected in the statutory language as well.
The FSA’s choice to use the term crypto-assets is not surprising, given that the same term was used by G20 representatives in a March meeting that saw the gathered central bank officials and finance ministers declare that cryptocurrencies “lack the key attributes of sovereign currencies.”