Mt.Gox and Coincheck – two infamous Japanese exchanges that were infamously hacked for hundreds of millions of dollars. Despite the thefts, Japan hasn’t stepped down from its take on cryptocurrencies and takes pride in its thriving cryptocurrency market.
Japan, a country that is quick to adopt technology and was amongst the first to legalize Bitcoin, is unfazed after two major cryptocurrency thefts on its land. According to reports, 50% of the world’s bitcoins are traded in Japan (in Yen). “Approximately 3 Million bitcoin owners trade on 16 of Japan’s registered cryptocurrency exchanges, and this number is poised to grow to 10 Million this year,” says Yuzo Kano, whose cryptocurrency exchange Bitflyer is one of the largest in Japan.
Kano, who set up cryptocurrency regulations and licensing systems for the Japanese government, thinks that Bitcoin has Japan at its heart, and is the “the country that is at the center of its support.” He also chairs the Japanese Blockchain association, which works hand-in-hand with Japan’s Financial Services Agency.
While the rest of the world is rapidly catching up with the cryptocurrency market, the Japanese have traditionally progressed in this market with slow, calculated steps, ensuring minimized risk for all stakeholders involved. The country aims to be a global leader in blockchain technology, and create a nurturing environment for entrepreneurs along the way.
Japan legalized Bitcoin as a means of payment back in April 2017, and major retailers reportedly accept payments in BTC.
Japan’s Bitcoin Culture
Evidently, the Japanese are not discouraged yet from using cryptocurrencies. According to reports, they choose to keep a stack of Yen at home, as banks pay minimal interest rates.
Tons of Bitcoin advertisements and billboards can be seen in Tokyo that praise the digital currency. They usually have very fine print warnings about any repercussions from trading, or a loss in value when dealing with crypto.
There’s even a band called Kasotsuka Shojo, which translates to virtual currency girls, that regularly performs in Tokyo clubs and sings about Bitcoin. Each of the eight girls in the band plays a character representing a virtual currency, such as bitcoin, ether, or ripple.
Mt.Gox Founder positive on recovering lost BTC
The former CEO of Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles, hopes to recover the money that customers lost in 2013. This is possibly due to Bitcoin’s multifold rise in value.
In a recent interview, Kapeles said: “What I’m trying to do is to find the best solution, because I believe it is my responsibility as CEO of Mt. Gox.”
After the theft of 850,000 bitcoins in 2014, Mt. Gox announced it had 200,000 bitcoins in another storage location. So far, $415 Million has been raised by trustees to repay the losses investors faced. Since Bitcoin’s current price is approximately $8000, the remaining bitcoins could be used to repay investors easily.
Update on Coincheck post-NEM Hack
As of yet, there are no arrests for the Coincheck theft that resulted in $500 Million in NEM getting stolen.
Earlier, Coincheck acknowledged its “mistake” in keeping the majority of NEM in a “hot wallet,” which was targeted by hackers. Virtual money should always be kept in a cold-wallet. According to reports, “the exchange is reimbursing losses from that heist and strengthening its security.”
Images courtesy DMM, Kasotsuka Shojo, and Unsplash.
I am an enthusiastic young writer who loves technologies, innovations and blockchain industry. I like sharing my observations and thoughts on the new trends in crypto world. I have been following the booming cryptocurrency market for some years now. I hope you enjoy my articles.