Japan has joined the short list of Bitcoin-friendly countries recently, after a new law regarding the use and treatment of the world’s most prominent cryptocurrency went into effect several days ago. As local reports say, Bitcoin users residing in Japan are now free to legally use their virtual money to buy services and products either online or through other electronic channels.

This is good news for Bitcoin casino players from Japan, as the new legislation has also opened up the doors for the growth of Bitcoin merchants and services in the country. The new law is also likely to remedy the image of the cryptocurrency in Japan, where one of the biggest Bitcoin hacks occurred only three years ago.

A new Law to Fix Old Wounds

The recognition of Bitcoin in Japan was the subject of plenty of debates filled with the usual concerns about its association with illegal acts. But after months of proposals and talking about it in the National Diet (Japan’s legislative body), a new law that recognizes Bitcoin as a form of payment instrument, although not a currency like traditional fiat money, had finally went into effect on April 1st.

Per the new law, Bitcoin is classified as an asset-like legal payment method that can be used to make payments around the country. The law also introduced new provisions to Bitcoin exchanges, who are now asked to officially register with the Prime Minister and have a minimal capital of 10 Million Japanese Yen. The new provisions are added to the previously introduced stipulations that had the exchanges register with Japan’s FSA (Financial Services Agency) and introduce Anti-Money Laundering measures.

The changes introduced in the legislative that relate to Japan’s Bitcoin exchanges and the liberalization of the use of Bitcoin in the country are seen as a move that aims to bring new faith in the cryptocurrency after the Mt. Gox scandal of 2014 previously shattered it. If you remember from news report at the time, the Mt.Gox exchange was one of the most popular Japanese exchanges that collapsed due to a reported hack which took away 850,000 BTC from its users.

Bitcoin Hype in Japan; Would Casinos Follow Suit?

Liberating the legal framework is only part of the good news, since only several days after the law was put into effect, two large Japanese retailers announced that they will soon jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon after a test run of BTC payment systems, according to new reports from Nikkei Asian Review.

Namely, Japan’s electronics retailer Bic Camera is teaming up with the BitFlyer exchange for a trial run of a BTC payments system, while Recruit Lifestyle, the retail branch of Recruit Holdings, is teaming up with the Coincheck exchange to integrate Bitcoin into their AirRegi POS (point-of-sale) system. These two retailers will push the number of stores accepting Bitcoin from 4,500 to approximately 260,000, according to reports, with others expected to soon introduce the cryptocurrency.

But the real question is whether casinos that cater to Japanese players will soon follow suit and introduce Bitcoin. With the online market still the only solution for casino players in Japan, we might just see some more casinos turning to Bitcoin soon.