Japan is a very important market when it comes down to cryptocurrencies
. We see Japan always leading the way when it comes to regulation and volume. So could Japan be the first country to show actual retail adoption of cryptocurrencies?
This has been a conversation in the cryptocurrency space for a long time. Can we get retailers to actually get involved in cryptocurrencies? E-commerce is a space where cryptocurrencies have been doing very well. There are a lot of e-commerce plugins for websites that make it very easy for people to accept cryptocurrencies online but all businesses do not happen online. People go out to restaurants, daily needs shops, clothing stores, etc. Let’s take a picture right now that we are seeing happening in Japan. According to Coinhills, the Yen remains the second most important market for bitcoin trailing only slightly behind the USD. The Yen even surpassed the USD for somedays which is quite amazing as it is not just the United States of America that uses USD to trade bitcoin but a lot of other countries are accessing bitcoin via dollar as well, So to see the Yen somedays surpassing the USD in volume is quite big as only Japan uses Yen to trade bitcoin.
Retailers in Japan that accept bitcoin:
According to a recent announcement by Rakuten which is the largest ecommerce site in Japan they are expected to become the first major e-commerce giant to integrate crypto payments into its platform allowing millions of users to purchase products using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As of late 2017, Rakuten had more than 95 million active registered accounts, so if the company does put forward its plan to use its cryptocurrency exchange to process payments for e-commerce it could drastically increase the level of merchant adoption in Japan.
Line is the biggest instant messaging platform in Japan which is currently used by 90% of people in the country. They are launching their own token economy for things like games, apps, and payments between people.
Currently, cashless transactions amount to only 20% of the total transactions in Japan. Majority of people still pay in notes and coins when they go out to shop. So there is an enormous opportuanity in Japan for a smartphone based fintech innovation and its already started to happen. This is something that Line is discussing with their Line pay options and of course, the Japenese government is also looking at how they can boost growth in the mobile payments industry and cryptocurrencies could be the perfect thing for Japan in terms of mobile payments.
GMO internet gave their employees the option to receive their salaries in bitcoin but it is not clear whether it is still happening or not because the GMO internet had a big bitcoin launch making miners but they are now cutting back their miner hardware sales operations
to nothing. The best part is that a big company actually proposed that.
- Last year we also saw Yamada Denki which is the largest consumer electronics retailer chains in Japan partnered up with cryptocurrency exchange bitflyer to add bitcoin payments service in two of its stores.
- Bic Camera which is a consumer electronics chain in Japan is also accepting bitcoin directly in their shops.
- 74 Japenese beauty clinics who started to accept bitcoin at the point of sale.
- L’Operaio which is a Japenese luxury car dealer with multiple branches in Japan is also now accepting cryptocurrencies.
- A deal back in 2017 with CoinCheck and Recruit Lifestyle brought 260,000 commercial facilities, food establishments, drug stores, and other retail locations nationwide tablet point of sales systems.
- We had some companies that announced that they were going to be accepting bitcoin. For example, peach aviation which is a low-cost airline in Japan said they are are going to start accepting bitcoin back at the start of 2018 but currently their website does not show bitcoin payment option so maybe that plan has been taken off for the time being.
- There are also some taxi services in Tokyo which are accepting bitcoin.
Apart from these, there are a lot of shops and cafes that accept bitcoin. We are seeing a lot of e-commerce happening, a lot of businesses who want to accept bitcoin for their online payments but we still have to overcome that hurdle of getting it happening in local shops.
What are your thoughts on the cryptocurrency adoption in Japan? Tell us in the comments section below.