Virtual currencies


Virtual currencies

Virtual currencies are unregulated digital currencies which can only be exchanged in the form of electronic data and are used online by people and businesses to pay for goods and services. Currencies can be exchanged for the yen, the pound, the dollar, the euro and Chinese renminbi through specialised exchanges, with no central bank or other official issuer or administrator.
Since the launch of Bitcoin in 2009, there are now around 2,000 different types of virtual currencies.

Important points about virtual currencies:

  1. No state or centralised banking authority
    Unlike ordinary legal tender, there is no state or central bank to manage and guarantee the value of virtual currencies, which can present a problem. However, this can be solved by the blockchain mechanism, which allows the holder of the virtual currency to monitor transactions and thus guarantee the value.
  2. Issuance limit
    States and central banks use monetary policies to adjust the amount of money issued according to the country’s economic conditions, etc. However, most virtual currencies have a fixed maximum number of issues to ensure that the value of the currency is maintained. For example, the maximum number of bitcoins that can be issued is 21 million, while the maximum number of Ripple coins that can be issued is 100 billion.

Bitcoin is the most widely traded virtual currency, but other currencies are gradually becoming more widely traded. Until now, our goods have been bought and sold in legal tender, but in the near future, buying and selling in virtual currency may become the norm.


・virtual currencies・・仮想通貨
・unregulated ・・規制されていない
・Chinese renminbi・・中国人民元
・central bank・・中央銀行
・official issuer・・公式な発行者
・legal tender・・法定通貨
・Issuance limit・・発行限度




  1. 国家や中央銀行の権限がない
  2. 発行限度額



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