Coincheck launches interest-paying Bitcoin accounts in Japan

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Japanese Bitcoin holders will soon be able to reap virtual interest, as domestic exchange Coincheck is launching the country's first interest-paying fixed deposit accounts for the digital currency.

The Tokyo-based Coincheck will offer four plans, letting users deposit their currency for 14 days at a 1% annual interest rate, 30 days for 2%, 90 days for 3%, or a full year for 5%. So an account holder depositing 10 bitcoin ($15,956) for 90 days would earn roughly 0.07 Bitcoin.

Hundreds of thousands of Japanese are said to have some Bitcoin to their names, but many apparently let the currency gather digital dust. The ability to earn interest on their holdings may prove attractive.

The Financial Services Agency says Coincheck's deposit service is exempt from banking regulations and recent revisions to fund settlement law, as Bitcoin is not legal tender. But should 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.
 
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