Bitcoin Landscape in Japan

EXSCUDO Team
August 29, 2017

Japan is known for its affinity with technology so it’s no wonder that the japanese Bitcoin industry is rapidly expanding. However, the latest stance taken by the government with regards to the legalization of Bitcoin has made Japan the number one power in Bitcoin, when it comes to trading.
Let’s take a closer look at the current landscape of Bitcoin in the land of the rising sun!

Trading & Exchanges

Ever since the legalization of Bitcoin as a payment method and its exemption from the consumption tax, demand in the region has spread like wildfire, allowing the JPY to take the number one position in trading volume. The Japanese Yen often accounts for 40%-50% of the daily trading volume.
As of now, BitcoinFlyerFX accounts for 73.40% of the japanese BTC/JPY market, followed by Coincheck(17.49%) and bitFlyer(6.17%).
Along with the legalization of Bitcoin, came new guidelines for Bitcoin businesses which led to an increase in Crypto exchange platforms in the country. Furthermore, Bitcoin exchanges in Japan have also adhered to the zero-fee model previously employed by Chinese exchanges, attracting investors from China and South Korea, the former of which has lost his place as the dominant force in Bitcoin trading.

Merchant Adoption

Large companies (major airlines, biggest hotel chains, retail giants) and thousands of merchants in Japan accept Bitcoin as an official payment method.
Only a few days after bitcoin officially became a method of payment in Japan on April 1, two major Japanese retailers have partnered with Japanese bitcoin exchanges to start accepting the digital currency for payments. Just 2 months ago there were only about 4,500 stores in Japan that accepted bitcoin as payment.
Major electronics chain retail, Bic Camera, is teaming up with Tokyo-based Bitflyer, which runs the largest Japanese bitcoin exchange. Bic Camera’s customers are allowed to pay up to 100,000 yen (780eur) using the cryptocurrency, and they will also get reward points at the same rate as for cash payments.
Another example is Recruit Lifestyle, the retail support arm of human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings, is partnering with another Japanese bitcoin exchange operator, Coincheck – for more info about exchanges. The virtual currency became a payment option at shops that have adopted AirRegi, the point-of-sale app developed by Recruit Lifestyle.
AirRegi is used at 260,000 eateries and other retail locations nationwide. Businesses can choose to install the bitcoin payment system alone. The app is also compatible with Alipay, the payment platform developed by China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding that is used by many Chinese tourists visiting Japan.

BTMs

At the moment there are 18 BTM’s around japan. 12 of them, which is about 66.7%, are located in the capital Tokyo(the fees charged may vary from BTM to BTM). Leading Japanese ATM manufacturer Oki Electric Indusdry has reportedly gotten into Bitcoin ATM Business. Altought no official information about the location of future BTM’s has come out, it is certain the number of BTM’s in Japan will continue to increase.

Mining

Although most Bitcoin mining pools and hashing power are located in China, Japan does not share this characteristic.  According to Buybitcoinworldwide Japan represents only 3% of the hashing power. This is mostly due to the only large mining pool in Japan, BTCC, a Chinese pool featuring servers in Japan.

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