Japan could be set to make an unexpected move with an ICO ban. It has long thought that the country was a champion of bitcoin as well as other cryptocurrencies, but there are plenty of suggestions from within Japan that an ICO ban could be on the way.
A changing market
For a long time, the Asian crypto-market has been dominant, with interest in cryptocurrency reaching new highs as recently as last week. After China moved to ban ICOs and exchanges, other countries in the region have picked up the overflow of cryptocurrency.
In a move which has gone down badly with plenty of entrepreneurs, South Korea has also acted and looks set to ban all initial coin offerings, whereas Taiwan has welcomed them. For now at least, it would seem that the future of the market is uncertain in the region, but with Japan trading around 63% of the world's Bitcoin, it seems unlikely that cryptocurrency is going to die out anytime soon.
Whereas plenty of Asians have until now looked towards Japan as a safe house for cryptocurrency exchanges, the future could hold more regulations.
Speaking this week, the co-founder of Indie Square, Koji Higashi, stated that as ICO crackdown is still very much a possibility. Stating that Japan is 'not really ICO friendly', Higashi went on to say that regulators in the country are perhaps more tentative than in other countries. He believes that, for the moment at least, regulators are trying to get a measure on ICOs to see whether they are good or bad news for Japan. If problems emerge in the future, Higashi believes they may start 'regulating more heavily'.
On the other hand, ICOs could turn out to be revolutionary, meaning Japan will already be well placed to attract international ICO projects. Indeed it seems that companies around the world have already seen the potential in ICOs, with many moving projects to Japan and Switzerland.