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Bitcoin Pay No Longer Popular In Japan: Here’s Why

Bitcoin Pay No Longer Popular In Japan: Here’s Why

It seems that many countries find it tough to compete with El Salvador when it comes to Bitcoin commitment. The Southern America Country’s new legislation means that merchants will now accept payment for almost anything in Bitcoin, you can find out more about this here. However, long before El Salvador’s Bitcoin initiative, Japan was the leading country in the cryptocurrency industry- a country that many other crypto enthusiasts looked up to in envy.  Now, paying for anything with Bitcoin in the country is difficult, including in the Capital. 

It was once stated by Roger Ver, that Tokyo was the “world’s most Bitcoin-friendly city.” This is the city in which he now lives but has swiftly moved from BTC into the Bitcoin Cash Camp BCH. 

Years since his statement was made, paying for anything with Bitcoin in Japan has become exceedingly difficult; however, Japanese hunger for Bitcoin shows no signs of falling. 

Japan’s Bitcoin revolution started in 2017, when over 260,000 Japanese stores started to accept the coin as payment for goods and services. The bill that was passed to make this possible required Bitcoin exchanges to register with the Prime Minister and meet a number of other requirements that were put in place to ensure security. 

Learn more about the security of Bitcoin in Japan here.

At first, it was predicted that keen shoppers would take the opportunity to buy absolutely everything with BTC however, this enthusiasm did not stand the test of time and it is now harder than ever to buy anything with Bitcoin in Japan. Although, it is easier than ever to buy it! 

In Japan, Bitcoin is readily available, in the form of prepaid cards, at most of the country’s thousands of 24-hour convenience stores. On top of this, businesses around the country, including e-commerce giants and financial experts, have launched crypto exchanges that they have linked with their apps and financial platforms. 

Despite its promising start, Bitcoin Pay did not excel in Japan and many have been wondering why this is the case? 

In this report from Sankei News, it was explained that after initially peaking in 2017, when retail giants revealed plans to accept Bitcoin as payment in stores worldwide, there had been no significant expansion of the Bitcoin rollout (apart from several online stores and privately owned restaurants.)

According to Takahide Kiuchi, senior economist at the Nomura Research Institute, retailers in the country thought that Bitcoin was too volatile to be used as a form of payment. It was suggested that Japanese retailers turned their attention instead to developing central bank digital currency-related adoption plans. 

The Coincheck hack of 2018 could also hold some accountability for the loss of Bitcoin enthusiasm in the country. The hack stole 526 million XEM and was thought to be “the biggest theft in the history of the world.”- according to Lon Wong, President of the NEM.io Foundation.

It is thought that El Salvador’s Bitcoin revolution will perhaps inspire Japan to accept Bitcoin Pay once more. 

Ruby Layram

Ruby Layram

Ruby is a writer for Bankless Times, covering the latest news on the cryptocurrency market and blockchain industry. Ruby has been a professional personal finance and investment writer for 2 years and is currently building her own portfolio of altcoins. She is currently studying Psychology at the University of Winchester, specialising in Statistical analysis.