The future of bitcoin in Japan still looks bright to this very day. The country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange secured US$1.75m of funding in a round led by national banks. Quite a surprising turn of events, albeit it hints bitcoin continues to gain more traction as of late. Considering how Japanese exchanges are now the largest in the world, this is rather good news in general.
It is good to see bitFlyer raise additional funding to build out their bitcoin exchange platform. Mizuho Financial Group and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group joined the round, resulting in US$1.75m in funding. The other participant in this round of funding is Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. It is worth noting nearly all of these players invested in blockchain technology not too long ago as well.
Japan Has Big Plans for Bitcoin
Banks very rarely show a keen interest in bitcoin. Even these ones who do so usually oppose bitcoin activities, rather than keeping an open mind. In Japan, things are different, which can end up setting a precedent for other parts of the world moving forward. It is evident these financial institutions see bitcoin as a way to counter cost invoked by international wire transfers. Bitcoin and blockchain technology allow for the creation of a much cheaper financial ecosystem.
Banks in Japan are known for their keen interest in financial technology. It is still surprising to see them be so open-minded to bitcoin, though. Unfortunately, the hands of Japanese banks are tied when it comes to acquiring startups in the sector. Current regulation prevents banks from owning more than a 5% stake in nonfinancial companies.
This also means it is very unlikely banks will invest in bitcoin startups anytime soon. By allowing cryptocurrency to thrive, they can still contribute to creating a healthier bitcoin ecosystem overall. Moreover, there are rumors circulating the current nonfinancial corporation ownership regulations may change in the future. Japanese banks want to create an ecosystem that works for everyone, that much is certain.
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