Japan, one of the world’s largest economies and without a doubt the leading nation for crypto currencies in their continent. With other large nations in Asia, like China and India approaching Bitcoin and its industries with fierce skepticism and sometimes outright bans, Japan’s open minded approach is a refreshing change.
As other countries look to be wary and enforce harsh regulations, Japan has looked to promote crypto growth. In September 2017, when South Korea and China banned ICO, Japan has allowed blockchain projects to raise funds in their countries.
With its Bitcoin supermarkets and more recently one of the countries mega banks, Mizuho, launching their J-Coin, the Japanese love affair with crypto is only getting stronger and stronger. But what has caused this relationship to blossom?
China and Japan are both giants in the region, but have differing attitudes, especially when it comes to their currency. China, with Wechat Pay and Alipay, are almost a cashless society, yet Japan on the other hand are centered on cash, and the use of credit cards has never really taken off. Perhaps, the move to cryptocurrency is a natural departure from cash.
The economic downturn may also be a reason for the shift to Bitcoin. With Japan failing to recover suitably from the economic crash in the 1990’s and the government printing funds to catalyze the economy’s struggles in deflation, now according to Jinse, “citizens are more inclined to use the traceable credit cards issued by banks to purchase cryptocurrencies.”
The regulations and acceptance from Japan towards crypto also helps. Since March 2018, the Digital Currency Trading Association (JVCEA) has been at the center of public opinion. According to reports, “the association currently counts 17 virtual currency exchanges, with a total spot transaction of 777.451 billion yen (about 7 billion US dollars), and a total margin transaction of about 841.52 billion yen (about 76 billion US dollars). The number of accounts is 2,874,971 (the number of active accounts is 1,416,699).”
Japan is clearly the centre for all things crypto in Asia, and with the appeasement of the Abe government, it is estimated that there will be a climax of blockchain startups before this summer.