Bitcoin and blockchain technology represent a global phenomenon that is both technologically and culturally decentralized. In other words, people from many different regions play a prominent role in the technology, and no country can lay claim to the cryptocurrency movement.
However, some countries have played a more prominent role than others, and as digital currencies, and especially their underlying technology – the blockchain – become more mainstream, Japan has asserted itself as a veritable powerhouse within the industry.
Indeed, Japan continually demonstrates a desire to be at the forefront of the Bitcoin movement as the country’s government, business community, platform developers, and citizens are more interested in Bitcoin than just about any collective anywhere else in the world.
Japan Tops the Crypto Charts
For instance, while the U.S. remains in regularity limbo, Japan has a big number of registered cryptocurrency exchange operators. The country features the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), a self-regulatory organization striving to create a cohesive security protocols to protect regulated crypto exchanges. As a result, Japan touts the largest Bitcoin exchange market in the world, significantly surpassing more populated countries like the U.S.
This extensive infrastructure encourages Bitcoin adoption among individuals, and Japanese Bitcoin users are some of the most prolific on the planet. According to BitcoinCharts, the Japanese Yen accounts for 25% of global Bitcoin transactions, surpassing Europe, a continent with hundreds of millions more users. Over 20,000 Japanese businesses accept Bitcoin at checkout, and the nation’s banks are building their own cryptocurrency to help facilitate digital transactions.
Even as the global crypto market is experiencing a prolonged downturn, Japan continues to show signs of optimism. For example, the country is set to welcome the second annual Japan Blockchain Conference hosted by The Global Blockchain Association, which is both enthusiastic about the role of blockchain technology among enterprise initiatives and about the use of digital currencies as an expression of finance in the digital age.
The two-day event, sponsored by Forbes and IBM, features nearly 50 speakers across dozens of presentations and meetups. Most notably, the conference features John McAfee and Tom Draper, two of the most prominent crypto-bulls in the industry.
John McAfee, a tech entrepreneur most famous for his eponymous virus protection software, is an outspoken supporter of digital currencies and blockchain technology, something that he routinely makes known to his 890,000 Twitter followers. As the CEO of MGT Capital Investments Inc., McAfee isn’t just espousing his opinions, in his debut keynote presentation, he will be communicating from his experience within the industry.
He will be joined by Tom Draper, who famously predicted that that Bitcoin would reach $250,000 by 2022, a projection that he has maintained throughout Bitcoin’s downturn.
While these predictions may seem trite in the U.S. where endless posturing about the Bitcoin bubble supersedes the practicality of digital currencies, Japan is actually experiencing the large-scale adoption of digital currencies. If anything, both the enthusiasm surrounding the conference and the fervor of the presenters feel particularly apt for Japan.
A Model for the Future
Countries around the world have made a unique contribution the crypto proliferation, and it’s certain that, without a global effort, digital currencies would not be as popular and capable as they are today.
Now, the future is anyone’s guess. Some contend that the crypto movement has come to an end, but the ethos of the digital age makes that proposition incredibly unlikely.
Nobody knows precisely how cryptocurrencies will continue to manifest themselves in the years ahead. The notion of independent currencies is a relatively novel concept, but Japan is continually demonstrating their efficacy, and as a global powerhouse in the movement, the country just may just be showing the world what the future looks like.