The world today is very different from what it was ten years ago. Technologically speaking, we have already taken a “giant leap for mankind,” to borrow from Neil Armstrong’s words when he first took a step on the moon’s surface.
Arguably, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology are the ones that caused for that leap to occur. And as we approach the tenth year since the mining of Bitcoin’s genesis block, we remember how it all began, and how the world keeps on getting better.
Many are already calling on community leaders to “hold” a celebration for Bitcoin’s tenth year, and more are even coming up with gimmicks to commemorate the day, including the art exhibition in France, which opened on September 28. A handful of Ukrainians have even raised up a virtual Satoshi Nakamoto statue, and have begun calling themselves to be members of the Satoshi Nakamoto Republic.
As for Ibinex News, we take a long hard look at Japan, a country known for accepting cryptos with open arms, and for allegedly giving birth to the person—or group—who started it all.
The Legacy Of Nakamoto
To be sure, nobody knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is—the inventor of Bitcoin certainly has no plans to step into the limelight. But if there’s anything that we can be sure of, it’s that the name is Japanese. And while there are people whom many are thinking to be Nakamoto, the truth in their claims remains to be seen.
But Japan is a country that has proven welcoming to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. As a matter of fact, it may be the only country in Asia that considers cryptos as legal tender.
According to the Global Cryptocurrency Market Report by crypto exchange creator Ibinex, the country contributes to 40 to 60 percent of global trading volumes. Also, 56.2 percent of Bitcoin is made up of the Japanese yen. Furthermore, there are over 3.5 Million cryptocurrency traders in the country, according to the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA), the country’s financial market watchdog.
But what’s most noteworthy is that Bitcoin is already accepted by small to medium businesses. In fact, 30 to 50 percent of cryptocurrency trading in the country is comprised of Japanese retail investors.
Rakuten Group, dubbed Japan’s Amazon, entered the crypto market through the acquisition of a crypto exchange in late August. It also created the Rakuten Blockchain Lab in 2016 as proof of its belief that cryptocurrency-based payments will grow in the future.
I like your imagination, but Japan does not have its own crypto pageant. Instead, it has Mai Fujimoto, who is the CEO and Founder of Gracone Inc, a Japan-based crypto and blockchain consultancy firm.
Fujimoto, a serial entrepreneur, has been known throughout the world for her efforts in promoting bitcoin use in everyday transactions. Since then, she has been known in the sphere as Miss Bitcoin.
According to Japan Today, Fujimoto first heard of the chief cryptocurrency in 2011 when she encountered Roger Ver, consequently known as Bitcoin Jesus. Fujimoto, who wasn’t Miss Bitcoin at that time, was crypto-vangelized by Roger Ver when she found out that cryptocurrencies can offer low-cost, incumbent-free, and easy-to-use payments.
Since 2013,she has been traveling around the world to promote bitcoin and all other cryptos in that regard. “If I travel overseas and I say: ‘Hi, I’m Mai Fujimoto, a bitcoin evangelist,’ no one remembers me. But everyone remembers Miss Bitcoin.”
As if a beauty queen herself, Miss Bitcoin created Kizuna, a non-profit organization that supports programs in education and music. The organization helps facilitate crowdfunding campaigns through bitcoin payments, and supports at-risk high school students in developing nations.
By her efforts, Miss Bitcoin hopes that the notion that bitcoin is a scam will dissipate, either sooner or later.
Government And Industry Support
Japan also appointed a new minister for its Science, Technology, and IT department in the person of Takuya Hirai. According to CoinTelegraph Japan, Hirai is a prominent blockchain and crypto enthusiast and promoter, and has been recognized for his efforts in drafting the country’s basic cybersecurity law, which was enacted in 2015.
The FSA also revealed that it is planning to hire more experts to its crypto team for the fiscal year 2019. According to an article by Reuters, the agency is in dire need of experts who will review the many crypto exchange applications that are piling up. According to the report, there are over 160 applications—the article was written in September—and the numbers may have increased by this time. Another report also stated that the financial market watchdog had already tightened its registration screening for aspiring cryptocurrency exchanges by four times amidst news on scams on crypto exchanges.
Consequently, Japanese financial giant SBI Group announced that it financial investing arm SBI Holdings was launching trials on its “S” token, which will be instrumental to its mobile payments platform. “S” token, considered a settlement coin by the company, will be tested by its employees, who will attempt to make cash-free purchases at cafes and restaurants around the firm’s Tokyo headquarters.
Nakamoto’s Sun And Sons (And Daughters)
There are a plethora of other blockchain- and crypto-related innovations in the country, including Tsukuba City’s blockchain voting system, Softbank’s blockchain-powered peer-to-peer mobile payments platform, and the Japan Bank Consortium’s MoneyTap app. Heck, it even has the Virtual Currency Girls, a female idol group which campaigns for cryptocurrency awareness.
Japan, known as the Land of the Rising Sun, has always been at the forefront of innovation. Despite being small in land mass, the country has contributed much to the health of cryptos; the country’s fiat money is surpassed only by the US dollar in constituting bitcoin’s fiat counterpart.
Despite bitcoin losing about two-thirds of its price and the massive hacks that the country’s crypto market has experienced, it remains adamant in supporting cryptos, and stricter in safeguarding the welfare of Satoshi Nakamoto’s sons and daughters.
They may never be related by blood or skin, but they are all children of the father of bitcoin by heart. Many of us are.
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