While Great Britain and the USA are busy launching probes into ICOs and potential bitcoin price fixing, six more companies are starting cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan. Money Forward, Drecom, Yamane Medical Corporation, Adways, Avex, and Daiwa Securities Group are listed on the Tokyo stock exchange. Japan currently has 16 licensed exchanges with eight under review by the Financial Services Agency (FSA).
Japan is regarded by many to be the world leader in blockchain investment, adoption, and integration. Satoshi Nakamoto is a Japanese name, and Tokyo is where the famous Mt. Gox scandal took place, with 850,000 lost Bitcoins. More recently, the Japan-based Coincheck exchange was hacked. However, rather than hurting the progression of cryptocurrency, these hacks have led to more stringent regulatory measures and are said to strengthen the whole cryptocurrency network. In a general sense, the culture of Japan is amenable to cryptocurrencies, with high rates of people who play video games using virtual currencies.
According to data released by the FSA in April, around 3.5 million people trade cryptocurrency in Japan. This is a large figure from a country with a population of around 120 million. Most of these individuals are aged between 20 and 40, and nearly $100 billion was traded in March 2017. However, China remains the market leader in BTC trade volume. Over five years, okcoin, huobi and btcchina accounted for 86% of total BTC trade volume. More recently, China-based Bitfinex and Japan-based Bitflyer took the two top spots over 30 day and 7 day time periods, but the actual trade volume of Asian cryptocurrency exchanges is in much dispute.
Many huge Japanese conglomerates are currently researching, developing, and pushing forward blockchain-based companies. One of the biggest of these is SBI Group, who has been making enormous investments in the space and have also announced they will be launching their own exchange this summer. This exchange will “be number one in the blink of an eye”, according to the president of the company. There are over 100 companies applying for a cryptocurrency trading license in Japan, potentially since the region is known for its innovation and ICO-friendly nature.
The trend is somewhat worrying from a Western perspective. Places progressing the furthest with cryptocurrency include Russia, Japan, China, the Baltic States, Iran, Venezuela, and South Korea. Almost everybody except the West is moving forward, and Japan especially is leaving even the best behind with its proactive policies.
Digital Nomad with an interest in Zen and Blockchain technology.
Law graduate with 3 years experience as a consultant in the capital markets industry and 4 years experience freelancing on UpWork as a Creative Writer.