Japan has decreed that Bitcoin is not a currency and the government has no laws to define it, although the government said in a statement it can tax transactions.
The country's banks can't broker Bitcoin transactions or create customer accounts to hold digital assets, Japan said, although brokerages and asset managers can manage clients' Bitcoins.
The comments come amid calls to regulate Bitcoin and a week after the collapse of Mt. Gox, a leading Tokyo based exchange, due to a massive theft.
The government's statement also comes after Newsweek marked the return of its print version with a bang by "outing" 64-year-old Japanese-American physicist Dorian S. Nakamoto as the creator of Bitcoin, although he yesterday denied involvement in the digital currency.