08 Jan Bitcoin – It’s Big in Japan
Many Asian countries have cracked down on digital currencies, but not Japan as it leads the way in Bitcoin friendliness
While the Asian market accounts for a large portion of the cryptocurrency market, not all of the countries in the East have been as receptive to the burgeoning market. However, the situation is totally different in Japan thanks to a soft approach from government and much higher adoption.
Japan continues to lead the way in the East with its approach and as such, there is a higher interest from the citizens, including from the self-proclaimed ‘Miss Bitcoin.’
Mai Fujimoto, aka Miss Bitcoin on her social media platforms, figure-heads an attitude that seems to be crowing in the Land of the Rising Sun. She boasts how all of her disposable income is deposited straight into Bitcoin.
“I convert all my disposable income into cryptocurrency,” the 32-year-old told AFP. “I’ve been doing this for nearly a year now. I convert all my savings into cryptocurrency instead of putting them in a bank.”
Why the hype in Japan?
The attitude in places like China and even Korea is one of the people battling against the regulators. There is huge interest in these two nations from the citizens, but regulators have put their foot down.
China’s ban on ICOs, and then exchanges, set a huge precedent in terms of the hard-nosed approach to digital currencies.
Korea also recently started taking steps towards its own style of the ban on digital currencies, however, despite that, there is still massive interest.
Japan also set its own precedent in the understanding of Bitcoin as back in April it was announced that Bitcoin was accepted as legal tender, instantly showing a positive approach from the government.
Japan also benefited greatly from China’s ban as many companies and investors crossed the Sea of Japan to set up shop on the Island.
Japan was also the pioneer in terms of Bitcoin adoption as about six months ago there was a boom in businesses trying to integrate Bitcoin payment systems. Even salaries are starting to be paid partly in Bitcoin. A well-known commentator on the crypto-business in Japan Koji Higashi said:
“The involvement of big companies, the sense of security derived from government approval and media exposure really brought in a whole new group of people to the market.”
A good alternative
Bitcoin also comes at a great time for the investment-savvy Japanese as ultra-low interest rates from the deflation-battling central bank that has left investors scratching their heads for places to find returns on their cash.
However, some are suggesting that it is more hype and mania than savvy investing.
“Everyone else is doing it now and I heard they are making a lot of money. I have to get on it now. That’s a very Japanese way of thinking. To be honest, I am not sure if people are buying into Bitcoin based on rational decision-making. It feels more of a short-term irrational mania to me.”