A village in Japan has announced its decision to launch an initial coin offering in order to secure funds for creating a sustainable region. This will be the first time in Japan for a municipality to use a token sale to raise funds.
Local Government Launching ICO
A village in Japan has decided to issue an initial coin offering (ICO) which it describes as “Japan’s first decision to issue a regional ICO by a local government.”
Nishiawakura Village is in Okayama Prefecture, which is located in the southern part of Japan’s Honshu island. The prefecture is largely known for its rural landscapes, feudal castles and art museums. With 95% of the area covered in forest, the village has a population of approximately 1,500. In the early 2000s, the village refused to merge with Mimasaka City when municipalities nationwide consolidated, wanting to remain economically independent.
According to the village’s announcement:
In order to promote the creation of a sustainable region in the future, as a means for small local governments to secure new financing resources and to build up regions through upfront investment, tokens issuance, and the creation of virtual currencies, we will introduce fundraising through an ICO for the first time as a municipality in Japan.
The village’s tokens will be called Nishiawakura Coin (NAC) and will be issued by the Nishiawakura Village Token Economy Association. The NAC coins will carry voting rights which allow their holders to participate in decision making relating to local ventures, the village explained.
“We plan to advance according to the revised fund settlement law…in line with the self-regulation rules on the management and finance by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Industry Association,” according to the announcement. This industry association was established in April and consists of 16 government-approved crypto exchanges. The revised fund settlement law went into effect in Japan last year, legalizing crypto as a means of payment. The village added:
The funds procured will carry out business development, etc. in collaboration with Nishiawakura Village, and will develop a sustainable community.
Currently, Japan has no specific law for ICOs, but the regulators have recently been discussing a specific regulatory framework for them. In February, the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), issued a warning to an unregistered ICO for allegedly conducting business without a license.
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Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Okayama-iju, Turns, and Nishiawakura Village.
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