About 40 years ago, the Japanese economy was strong, based on an aggressive plan that put the economy above defense. The country enjoyed per capita income that rivaled those of many western countries and rose to be the second largest economy in the world. However, when the bubble burst and the Tokyo Stock Exchange crashed between 1990 and 1992, things got out of control. Now, Japan is looking to reclaim its place in the world, and can thank cryptocurrency and the blockchain for its newfound growth.
During this week’s Japan Blockchain Conference in Tokyo, the CEO of the financial company SBI Holdings, Yoshitaka Kitao, said he expects blockchain-related technologies to be the catalyst for the next economic explosion in the country. He said, “We want to take blockchain beyond financial. There’s a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people’s businesses.”
In anticipation of the explosion, Yoshitaka has been guiding the company toward blockchains and cryptocurrencies. His currency of choice is Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Earlier in the year, SBI invested in a renewable energy wind farm designed to mine Bitcoin BCH, which Yoshitaka says is more viable than BTC.
One of the reasons for selecting BCH is value. Yoshitaka explained, “Bitcoin [BTC] is too expensive and people are just holding it and hoping it increase in value.”
The CEO of the decentralized app marketplace Centrality, Aaron McDonald, agrees with Yoshitaka, and anticipates Japan to be one of the core areas that will drive global cryptocurrency awareness and the adoption of blockchain technology. He said, “We’re focused on the region because people in Japan are far further ahead than the rest of the world when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies.” According to statistics, one out every three Japanese adults has used a cryptocurrency wallet.
The opinion is also supported by Tezuka Mitsura, CEO of the blockchain investment advisory company CTIA. Mitsura has said, “If blockchain is integrated into the Japanese market it will be a great tool and prevent the market from declining.” It should be pointed out that CTIA is a major investor in Centrality.
Japan has been more open to blockchain and cryptocurrency acceptance than what has been witnessed in other countries. It introduced a law last year that saw the creation of 16 licensed trading platforms, fueling crypto growth in the country. However, as the fear of a worldwide crackdown on the industry continues to broil this year, cryptocurrency values everywhere —including in Japan—are suffering.
Based on Yoshitaka’s estimations, the next couple of years are going to prove crucial to the blockchain industry and could also see extensive growth in BCH. All eyes will continue to watch developments to see how the markets play out and to see if he’s correct.