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Japan reportedly pushes 'international network for cryptocurrency payments'

It would reportedly resemble the SWIFT system for international banking.
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Members of idol group Kasotsuka Shojo (Virtual Currency Girls) wearing bitcoin masks look on during an interview following their live stage performance in Tokyo on January 12, 2018. KAZUHIRO NOGI via Getty Images

As governments around the world try to figure out how to deal with everything from Bitcoin to Facebook's Libra, Japan has usually been a step or two ahead in dealing with cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment there since 2017 and it's begun issuing licenses for exchanges. Now Reuters reports, based on anonymous sources, that the country's government is at the lead of an effort to create a SWIFT-style system to manage cryptocurrency payments and supposedly battle money laundering.

There's very little detail about what this means or how it would potentially work, but SWIFT is the network that banks use to securely send money around the world. Cryptocurrency users aren't necessarily looking for more government oversight -- and interference -- so the question of how regulators would insert such a system also needs to be answered. Even with the regulation Japan has now, just last week the Remixpoint exchange reported it lost $32 million worth of currency after being hacked. According to the report, the network is supposed to be implemented in the next few years" with cooperation from other countries.

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