Blockchain in Japan – A Story of Culture, Luck, and Determination

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Nowadays, it’s become near impossible to conduct any serious discussion on cryptocurrency without mentioning Japan. Despite some setbacks, Japan remains an interesting case-study of cryptocurrency regulation. Even more so since the country has been the epicenter of two of the most significant exchange hacks in history, which almost ended it all.

Normalizing Digital Money

Japan is commonly referred to as the land of the rising sun. Not only is Japan the supposed home to the bitcoin founder, but it is also home to a massive base of cryptocurrency investors and users. In fact, some crypto experts say that Japan might just be the second, if not the third, largest economy in the world for bitcoin. The Japanese yen accounts for an average of 11% of global trading volume for BTC.

Consequently, this places Japan neck-and-neck with South Korea. At the moment, the South Korean won is battling for dominance against the U.S. dollar. However, for a country with 127 million people, the current 11% share of global trading volumes gives an outsized influence per capita on the crypto industry.

With regards to cryptocurrency acceptance, legalization and regulation, Japan is at the forefront. Especially since Japan has created a framework by which major cryptocurrency exchanges can be registered as financial services institutions. In the eyes of the crypto world, this has made Japan the most forward-thinking government.

Blockchain Adoption in Japan

Since March of 2018, an estimated 3.5 million individuals were actively trading using cryptocurrencies in Japan. The popularity of cryptocurrency in the country has led to some favorable laws. In fact, Japan is currently the first country to recognize cryptocurrency within its legal system, thereby providing a legitimate method for Japanese citizens to engage with crypto.

Also, mainstream companies are already exploring, or already accepting cryptocurrencies. For instance, Bic Camera, which is a major electronics retailer, currently allows customers to pay for purchases using bitcoin in all locations nationwide. Furthermore, these transactions are completed with the help of Japanese crypto exchange bitFlyer.

Energy company E-net Systems Co, allows clients to settle their electricity bills in bitcoin. You can also order a drink and pay with bitcoin in almost any bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya neighborhood. Despite their reluctance, Japanese banks are getting in on blockchain technology use as well.

Is Japan Working To Maintain Its Status as a Crypto Leader?

The recent hacks on Japanese exchanges, namely Mt. Gox and Coincheck, are indeed troubling. However, Japanese regulators have implemented a framework designed to prevent future hacks, as well as cement Japan as the most advanced nation terms of cryptocurrency regulation and governmental support.

Evidently, Japan, as a whole, is playing a pivotal role in the crypto world. Hence, there can be no reason whatsoever to think that Japan’s role in the crypto revolution will under any circumstance, diminish in the future.

Last modified: October 16, 2019