Japanese exchange Coincheck is reportedly set to begin offering its Bitcoin customers interest-paying accounts. The offering will be a first for the country, and will enable Bitcoin holders to deposit their digital currency in fixed deposit accounts that earn interest at one of four different rates ranging from one to five percent.
According to a report in the Nikkei Asian Review, customers who commit to depositing Bitcoin for 14 days can earn interest at a 1% annual rate. That rate of interest rises to 2% for currency deposited for 30 days, 3% for 90-day deposits, and 5% for deposits held for an entire year. The article notes that hundreds of thousands of citizens in Japan are believed to be holding Bitcoin. If true, then there is almost certainly a market for these types of accounts.
That report also notes that the country’s Financial Services Agency has said that this new deposit service would not be subject to Japan’s banking regulations. While Japan has formally recognized digital currency, it has yet to be designated as legal tender, so those monetary regulations do not apply. However, as the Nikkei report acknowledges,
“[S]hould the number of users rise suddenly or the currency gain widespread traction as a method of payment, such services could face regulation in the future.”
Meanwhile, acceptance of digital currency continues to grow within the country’s retail community. If that trend continues, the FSA is almost certain to revisit that regulatory stance sooner rather than later.