Japan Teaches Western Governments a Lesson in Cryptocurrency Regulation Bitcoin is a phenomenon that provokes conflicting emotions in people. Fear. Excitement. Elation. Doubt. For governments tasked with regulating every new thing that comes along, be it the motor car or the internet, bitcoin presents a conundrum. How to regulate such a seemingly unregulatable creation? While many western governments have reached for the button marked Fear, Japan has taken the reverse approach. Land of the Rising CoinBitcoin has been an officially legal payment method in Japan since April, when 4,500 stores began accepting the cryptocurrency, and leading financial newspaper, the , tips that figure to increase five-fold by the end of the year.