According to Yuzo Kano, Chief Executive for BitFlyer, one of Japan’s largest licensed cryptocurrency exchanges, “about half the world’s Bitcoin trading is estimated to be in yen and there are 16 licensed virtual currency exchanges in Japan, where Bitcoin owners alone number 2 million to 3 million. That could grow to 10 million this year.”
Kano, who helped the Japanese government set up its licensing system and other regulations added that “Japan is now Bitcoin’s heart, the country that is at the center of its support.” heads the Japan Blockchain Association and was recently tapped to head a new organization to beef up regulations, working with the Financial Services Agency.
Financial regulators all over the world are moving hurriedly to catch up with the boom in cryptocurrencies and Japan is treading carefully, seeking to minimize risks while maneuvering to attain global leadership and nurture entrepreneurship in the new financial technology.
Bitcoin has been a legal form of payment in Japan since April 2017, and a reasonable number of major retailers in the country already accept Bitcoin payments.
Japan continues to welcome cryptocurrency investments as it plans to become Bitcoin capital of the world. It is hoping to capitalize on the growth in interest for cryptocurrencies as their opportunity to improve the Japanese economy.
Cryptocurrencies are particularly popular among young Japanese investors lured by the prospect of strong profits in an economy that has seen ultra-low interest rates for many years and low returns from traditional assets.