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Japan in the past year has emerged as a strong market for cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The country, which housed the doomed Mt Gox Bitcoin exchange is back on its feet, much faster than expected. The technology adoption, combined with government’s liberal attitude towards Bitcoin and blockchain could give a significant boost to the country’s growing fintech ecosystem.
The number of investments made by Japanese banking and investment firms in blockchain related startups is well known. SBI Holdings, MUFJ, Mizuho Financial Group and others have invested in some of the leading cryptocurrency technology companies in the country. These strategic investments are soon going to pay off.
According to a recent report published by Yano Research Institute, the country’s fintech sector is forecasted to start generating decent revenues in the tune of over $174.7 million in 2017. The revenues will continue to grow, year on year to reach $743 million in the next five years.
The acceleration of fintech growth in Japan is going to be further fueled by fintech-friendly regulations being introduced by the government. These new rules are replacing the existing tight controls that didn’t leave enough room for innovation. The government’s favorable stance towards cryptocurrencies is evident from the upcoming virtual currency regulation which is going to classify Bitcoin alongside other mainstream currencies.
The Japanese online retail and financial giant, Rakuten is one of the companies that is heavily invested in the development of financial technology. The company, with the intention of bolstering its blockchain capabilities acquired Belfast-based Bitnet. The company also started operating a blockchain lab in Ireland last year. Rakuten was one of the first Japanese companies to start accepting Bitcoin payments on its e-commerce platform.
The usage of Bitcoin in Japan has increased in the recent days. The trade volumes on the country’s exchanges surpassed that of the United States earlier this year, making it the second largest market in the world.
The development of fintech industry in Japan will be instrumental in improving the country’s economy as well.
Ref: eMarketer | Image: NewsBTC