Japan is known for its almost surreal beauty; they have cherry blossoms, the perfect cone Mount Fuji, and picture-perfect shrines and castles. In addition, its people are known for being very polite yet unfathomably fearless as epitomized by its samurais ready to shed blood to server this master.
The same fearless spirit of the Japanese people lives on to this day and has now manifested itself in the country’s stance on cryptocurrencies. While neighboring countries China and South Korea are busy finding ways to curb the use of the online money, Japan is taking the opposite route and has bravely forged ahead. In fact, the country’s end goal in terms of cryptos is mind-bogglingly grand – Japan wants to become the Bitcoin capital of the world.
In fact, it already has a secret billion dollar plan to make it happen. Analysts revealed that the Japanese are bucking the trend of some nations in the region by supporting initiatives of financial technology startups.
“The Government wants to facilitate fintech through cryptocurrency and blockchain technology,” said Ken Kawai, a partner at law firm Anderson Mori & Tomotsune, a firm that also specializes as an adviser for fintech firms. Financial technology, also known as fintech, refers to new technologies or innovations that compete with traditional financial services. These include the use of smartphones in banking and investments as well as cryptocurrencies.
In case you are wondering what Japan aims to gain out of all these talks of fintech, they’re actually thinking big. Annual taxes alone are projected to reach up to several billion, and that is in U.S. dollars.
“There are estimates that tax revenue from the cryptocurrency business,” Takashi Shiono, an economist at Credit Suisse’s Tokyo office explained, “including capital gains taxes from individual investors and from corporations, could amount to 1 trillion yen (US$9.2 billion), though that is very speculative at this stage.”
Despite being a first world country, Japan has endured decades of economic stagnation which started back in the 90s. Tokyo is not fearful of the skyrocketing growth of the cryptocurrency industry. In fact, it is hoping to use its momentum to improve and stimulate the nation’s economic activity.
Incidentally, Japan is poised to take advantage of the cryptocurrency boom. Compared with anemic returns and low yields of traditional investment options, cryptos are becoming more popular for young Japanese investors.
In addition, Japan can reap enormous benefits from the crackdowns and various bans on crypto trading imposed by other alarmist countries. For instance, investors who may no longer be able to trade on these online assets at their home countries will eventually be forced to do their transactions via Tokyo.
For instance, South Korean has recently introduced regulations that could make it harder to trade in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies such as Ripple and Ethereum. In addition, China has been known for its anti-cryptocurrency policies specifically with its latest move to block all websites involved in crypto trading, even those belonging to foreign platforms. With these moves, savvy investors from these countries have no choice but to look elsewhere, a need that Japan could fill in.