Bitcoin Adoption in Japan

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with densely populated cities, mountainous national parks, imperial palaces and thousands of temples and shrines.  Japan is well known for its cuisine, aesthetic tradition, bonsai trees and its role in the Second World War as well as the Japanese macaque, also known as the snow monkey.  It is a terrestrial Old World monkey species native to Japan.

Japan’s economy is the third largest in the world as well as the third largest automobile manufacturing country.  Japan has the largest electronics industry and in terms of innovation, ranked at the top of innovation measures such as global patent filings.

It is clear that Japan is an early adopter of technology and trends… including Bitcoin.  Just recently, Japan rose to become the second biggest trader in the world  behind China. 

In the early years of Bitcoin, Japan was the home of the infamous Mt.Gox  and bankruptcy filed  – Mt. Gox was a bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo, Japan which was launched in July 2010, and by 2013 was handling 70% of all bitcoin transactions.  However, the collapse of Mt. Gox did not stop progress in Japan and many exchanges are now in operation.  Here is a list of active exchanges in Japan and find a local Japanese buyer or seller on LocalBitcoins. 

It is safe to say that Bitcoin is booming in Japan as in 2016, more than 4200 merchants across Japan started accepting Bitcoin as payment – predictions are that this number could grow to over 20000 by the end of 2017

The FSA (Financial Services Agency) has become the regulatory agency of virtual currency through the amendment of the Payment Services Act – The amended Act will require virtual currency exchanges operating in Japan to register with the FSA – Read more about the Payment Services Act

First bill regulating Bitcoin exchanges was passed on 25 May 2016.

According to InternetLiveStats, there were 115,111,595 Internet Users in Japan during 2016 which is a 91.1% share of Japan Population with a total Population of 126,323,715.  This makes up a 3,4% share of internet users (3,424,971,237) globally.  Both Free and Paid internet hot spots are available.  GMO Internet also pushed into virtual currencies with launch of GMO Wallet – Learn more about GMO Internet here.

Japan has certainly become a very big player in the Bitcoin ecosystem as they are laser focused on digital currency and blockchain techonology.  Government is involved and Japan’s Central Bank is ‘Test-Driving’ Distributed Ledgers

Countdown: Bitcoin Will Be a Legal Method of Payment in Japan during April 2016.  This is a big deal… a very big deal and it could cause a domino effect as more countries follow suit.

Nothing is holding Japan back from embracing the digital economy!


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