Japan is at the forefront of today’s cryptocurrency market not only in Asia but all over the world. In fact, Japan is known for allowing cryptocurrency transactions having crypto ATMs where you can get your funds conveniently. In addition to this, there are a good number of Japanese crypto investors today.
According to one data provided by Financial Services Agency (FSA), Japan’s financial watchdog, the country has over 3.5 million people invested in cryptocurrencies. To give you an idea just how large this number is in relation to Japan’s population, that is around 2.8% of the entire Japan population. The agency also mentioned that there is a chance that the number is actually much higher considering that the data was only provided by 17 out of the total 32 companies that operate in Japan.
Increase in Trading Volume
And despite the recent bearish trend on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is undeniable how popular cryptocurrencies are today. The regulatory body even discovered that the total volume of cryptocurrency trading is almost 5000 times higher in 2017 than in 2014. There were a total of 2.35 billion yen that was traded in 2014 compared to the 10.3 trillion yen (around $97 billion) traded during the fiscal year of 2017. According to information from Cryptocompare, Japan is the leading country in terms of cryptocurrencies. Japanese Yen accounts for approximately 62% of the total money invested in Bitcoin.
Another after-effect of cryptocurrency’s popularity in Japan is the shortage of coders and engineers. Salaries of both experienced coders and engineers have increased by as much as 20 to 30 percent from the previous year. In fact, the base salary of a new coder now is at $100,000.
If you will look at the majority of investors, around 91 percent has portfolios worth less than 500,000 yen.
Forefront of Regulatory Changes
And because of the popularity of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, it isn’t exactly surprising how the Japanese Financial Services Agency reportedly strengthened rules and regulations when it comes to crypto exchanges. Sankei Shimbum mentioned that the agency “will strengthen the registration review” process. Companies are known as “quasi operators” of cryptocurrencies and have been allowed to operate even if their registrations are on review.
The initial examination process will require an on-site inspection according to the agency. The agency mentioned that “As a result of the inspection, it is a policy (of the FSA) to strongly seek withdrawal from exchange companies that do not show improvement”.
This screening process will avoid Coincheck situation from ever happening again. And with these measures, crypto exchanges that are lacking in security measures are suspended. Just how strict is the FSA? Even those agencies that have already obtained their licenses were inspected including Tech Bureau, GMO Coin, and Quoine. And because of this, tech improvement orders were given to both GMO Coin and Tech Bureau.
Given the number of people in Japan using cryptocurrencies, it is important that Japan take everything seriously. With hacks happening on crypto exchanges, it is imperative to take the necessary steps to prevent these instances from ever happening again.