In 2016, China was responsible for 90 percent of all bitcoin trading but in September of this year when ICOs were banned by Beijing, Japan stepped in to welcome the cryptocurrency movement.
Earlier in the year, Japan sanctioned bitcoin as a legal form of a payment. Since then, bitcoin trade now accounts for half the volume of its total global trade.
Big retailers in Japan are now accepting the world’s largest cryptocurrency as payment and over 4,500 stores have joined the movement.
The Mt. Gox collapse in 2014, shifted Japan’s regulation. They now have more stringent rules that require cryptocurrency exchanges to maintain minimum capital reserves, have completely separate customer accounts and provide adequate anti-money laundering practices.
Japan’s Own Cryptocurrency?
With Bitcoin being widely accepted around the country, Japanese banks have been looking into launching their own cryptocurrency. Their main goal is to wean their residents off of cash and the main bank leading this campaign, Mizuho Financial Group, is considering the digital coin name of J-Coin.
A spokesman from this financial institution spoke to CNBC on this and states, “The project is in the early stages, and we have just held study meetings with other institutions.”
There is a group of banks that are involved and they would like to launch J-Coin, by the Tokyo Olympics set in 2020.
The J-Coin is planned to be pegged with the Yen and their hopes are it will be used to make payments and transfers through a specific mobile app.
Even though Bitcoin is now legalized and thousands of retailers accept it, the Japanese still heavily rely on cash. The J-coin could potentially be the vehicle that drives its residents off of hard cash.
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