Dub 05

Japan: Bitcoin Payments Could See 260,000 Stores by Summer

· April 5, 2017 · 5:00 am

Bitcoin payments may be accepted at over 260,000 stores in Japan by this summer following partnerships between the country’s Bitcoin exchanges and major retailers.


Bic Camera to Trial Bitcoin Payments

Japanese electronics chain Bic Camera has partnered with Tokyo-based bitFlyer, which runs the country’s largest bitcoin exchange that currently comprises about 10% of the Bitcoin market.

This Friday, Bic Camera’s flagship shop in Tokyo’s Yurakucho district along with Bicqlo Bic Camera, a hybrid outlet with Uniqlo, will begin a trial run using bitFlyer’s bitcoin payment system, according to the official release.

Customers will be able to pay up to 100,000 yen (~$900 USD) with Bitcoin, which will also include reward points at the same rate as for cash payments. The trial will determine if Bic Camera will expand Bitcoin payments to its other 39 nationwide locations.

260,000 Merchants Can Now Accept Bitcoin

Meanwhile, another Tokyo bitcoin exchange, Coincheck, has partnered with Recruit Lifestyle, the retail support arm of human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings.

Coincheck, which currently holds 99% of the bitcoin payment market share in Japan, will bring Bitcoin payments to shops that use AirRegi, a point-of-sale app developed by Recruit Lifestyle, by this summer.

To pay with bitcoin, customers can simply scan the barcode displayed on the app. Coincheck will process the transaction, converting the bitcoin into yen for the merchant.

Additionally, the app also supports Alipay, China’s leading third-party payment solution. However, Chinese tourists visiting Japan will be able to finally spend their bitcoin, something they cannot do in their home country.

Today, the most popular electronic payment options in Japan include Suica and Rakuten’s Edy, which are accepted at 380,000 and 470,000 locations, respectively. But with these recent moves, virtual currency could soon enter their ranks as AirRegi terminals are already used at 260,000 eateries and other retail locations nationwide.

Japan: Land of the Rising Bits

Bitcoin transaction volume in Japan began to increase significantly since 2016, and in January 2017 its volume exceeded 541.1 billion yen (about 20 times compared to the same period last year).

Just recently, on April 1, 2017, Japan’s Payment Services Act for virtual currencies went into effect, recognizing Bitcoin as a legal payment option while forcing cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the government. Starting in July, purchases of virtual currency will be exempt from the consumption tax.

Overall, the new regulations and tax incentives are expected to boost consumer confidence and growth of the domestic virtual currency market, which already had over 4,000 locations accepting bitcoin.

Will these new partnership make Bitcoin a mainstream payment method in the country? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, air-regi.com, 

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Led 17

Japan Rises to Become 2nd Biggest Bitcoin Trader in the World

· January 17, 2017 · 5:00 am

Counterparty Foundation Community Director Koji Higashi has agreed that Japan’s future in Bitcoin is an “upward trend” and could challenge China in trading volume.


Japan: World’s #2 Bitcoin Trader

His comments follow mainstream media alleging the number of Japanese outlets accepting Bitcoin had quadrupled to over 4,000 in 2016 alone.

In a blog post Monday, Higashi said that in contrast to China’s falling trading volumes due to exchange inspections and uncertainty over legislation, Japan’s legal setup was fostering increased crypto adoption.

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“…It seems to me few people are aware of what’s happening in Japan now, especially its ever increasing bitcoin trading volume and signs of wider bitcoin adoption,” he wrote.

In terms of trading volume, in fact, yen is already the second biggest currency after Chinese yuan.

The figures Higashi highlights make for surprising reading. Data from Cryptocompare supports his findings, with Japan’s volume just a hair above the US at present. It should be noted, however, that not all exchanges are accounted for in the charts available.

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Japan’s daily trading volumes are now between 120,000 and 150,000 BTC (excluding OTC and P2P trading) – still only around 15% of China, yet enough to support a solid trend, he states.

“Japan is not quite there to challenge the China’s spot yet but it’s notable that about 10% of the bitcoin trading in the world comes from Japan now,” he continued.

Future Uncertain… But Better Than China

A recent Bitcoinist article highlighting purportedly huge increases in merchant adoption in the country meanwhile met with criticism from locals, who said that despite the claims made by Japanese media outlet NHK, the reality remained that using Bitcoin even in Tokyo was next to impossible.

However, a list of where you can spend your bits in Tokyo was compiled by Japanese exchange Coincheck here.

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Still, Higashi too errs on the side of caution, adding that the current status quo did not necessarily signal a flood of adoption – and could ultimately mean the opposite.

“I think the new virtual currency law in Japan will turn out worse than Bitlicense in some aspects contrary to popular media narratives,” he said about the latest Japanese legislation which should come into effect in Spring.

Under this legislation, businesses getting into the cryptocurrency sphere will have the “entry barrier lowered,” Higashi said, leading to increased participation and trading. He predicts that,

At the end of this year, Japan may end up becoming the Number 1 country for Bitcoin trading officially.

Bitcoin Business Gets Ready

Meanwhile, the country’s Bitcoin ecosystem is wasting no time in grabbing the public’s attention amid a more favorable climate.

Tech company GMO Internet announced Tuesday that it would enter the Japanese Bitcoin market with a wallet and exchange service specifically due to the regulatory changes.

Extant exchange BitFlyer is even advertising on major television networks, producing a pitch which is decidedly Japanese in nature, complete with a jingle users have been translating on Reddit.

What do you think about Higashi’s forecasts and the future of Bitcoin in Japan? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, cryptocompare.com, counterparty foundation

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Dub 01

Coincheck Offers Global JPY Trading Market For Bitcoin and Ethereum

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Global Expansion

Bitcoin companies expanding their services across borders will help to get the digital currency into the hands of as many people as possible. Coincheck, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange which recently added an Ethereum trading pair as well, is expanding their service on a global scale. Anyone living inside or outside of Japan can now trade Bitcoin and Ether for JPY with their credit card or international bank transfer.

Also read: net-ARB and BTCJam Fallout Highlights Necessity of Smart Contracts

Coincheck Bitcoin And Ether Trading Opportunity

Even though the number of digital currency exchanges operating on a global scale has grown significantly over the past few years, very few of these platforms let users trade against JPY. Or to be more precise, it is all but impossible as a foreigner to trade Bitcoin and Ethereum against JPY, but that situation has come to change.

Now that Coincheck is opening their trading market to the public, parent company ResuPress Inc hopes to grow the monthly transaction volume and total user base exponentially. Keeping in mind how this exchange processes close to US$28m per month in trading volume and serves over 16,000 users in Japan, things are off to a good start for this platform.

Digital currency seems to be gaining more popularity in Japan these days, which is a positive trend for Bitcoin and Ethereum enthusiasts. Moreover, there has been a lot of demand from potential international clientele as to when Coincheck would open their exchange to people in countries other than Japan. Digital currency is available on a global scale, and supporting platforms and services should scale to that level as well.

The rise in popularity of digital currency in Japan can be attributed to some recent legislative changes. The Japanese Cabinet approved multiple new bills which will modernize the payments industry, and they even acknowledge bitcoin as a “useful currency”. Such news gave Bitcoin demand a healthy boost and is also part of the reason Ethereum was added to the exchange not too long ago.

But there is a major advantage for people who love arbitrage opportunities, as the BTC/JPY price is usually a lot of higher than any other trading market. Coincheck wants to attract international traders in this regard, as there are opportunities to make a good amount of money from experimenting with these margins.

International Payments Are Converted To JPY

Despite international users being unable to send a wire transfer in JPY, there is no need to despair. All of the wire transfers can be denominated in US Dollar, and the amount will be converted to JPY once it arrives in the Coincheck bank account. This conversion process is done free of charge, which is a nice bonus.

For the time being, Coincheck is running a campaign where 0% trading fees are implemented, which will run until April 14th. This applies to both the Ethereum and Bitcoin trading markets, and should help attract new customers from all over the world. Moreover, the exchange offers a lot of trading features, including leverage trading for both Ethereum and Bitcoin.

What are your thoughts on Coincheck expanding on a global scale? Will you look for arbitrage opportunities/ Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Coincheck Blog

Images courtesy of Coincheck, Shutterstock

The post Coincheck Offers Global JPY Trading Market For Bitcoin and Ethereum appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Coincheck Offers Global JPY Trading Market For Bitcoin and Ethereum

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