Over the past year, Japan has been laser focused on digital currency and blockchain solutions. Moreover, the country has recently become the second largest Bitcoin trading region in the world. Now one of Japan’s largest IT conglomerates plans on entering the Bitcoin industry with a new wallet and exchange service.
Japanese Internet Giant Goes Big On Bitcoin
When it comes to Bitcoin, a lot has changed in Japan since the Mt Gox days. Back in May of 2016, the country’s government defined digital currency as money. Since then, exchanges like Bitflyer, Zaif, and Coincheck have been trading a lot of bitcoin. Alongside this, digital currency and blockchain-related investments within the region have been announced regularly throughout the past year.
On January 20, the Japanese-based GMO Internet group announced that it would soon be developing a bitcoin exchange and wallet service. The well-known company which has commanded the country’s IT markets for fourteen years is pleased with the new venture. The firm says it will be providing a safe environment for cryptocurrency trading given its significant background in online securities.
“Using the know-how cultivated in the Internet infrastructure and financial businesses as described above, we established ‘GMO Wallet Co., Ltd.’ on October 11, 2016, and have been preparing for a virtual currency exchange”, explains the Japanese IT company’s translated announcement.
Japan’s Bitcoin Trade Volume Explodes
Prior to the new GMO exchange announcement, Japan has recently taken the number two spot for the country with the most bitcoin trade volume. Steadily racing towards China this past summer, the Japanese exchange Bitflyer revealed exponential trade volume growth. Furthermore, just recently Bitcoin.com reported on the regional exchange Coincheck experiencing significant growth during the new year.
Alongside this, the Singapore-based exchange Quoine has pushed some of the highest BTC/JPY trade volumes in the world. The exchange also allows trades in USD, AUD, and other foreign currencies as well as margin lending services. This past June, the startup raised $16 million in a Series B funding round from JAFCO Asia. The company founded in 2014 adds to the growing number of exchanges offering Japanese citizens BTC/JPY trades.
Bitcoin in Japan Continues to Grow Popular
The virtual currency phenomenon has become more popular than ever in the country as Japan’s influence in Bitcoin is hard not to notice. The country has had interesting Bitcoin commercials from Bitflyer and even a cryptocurrency-themed girls game show. Legacy companies in the region are getting onboard with these emerging technologies and startups like Techbureau are telling Japanese residents about digital currency solutions. Meanwhile, Japan hit its highest Localbitcoins volumes last winter and has shown consistent volume increases throughout the year. Japan is one country to keep your eyes on within the Bitcoin environment.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, GMO, and Twitter.