As the Western cryptocurrency markets see regulators starting to make moves, Internet giants ban advertising, and ICOs being exposed as less-than-honest, the Eastern cryptocurrency markets are soaring.
One of the reasons why the cryptocurrency markets in the West have taken a hit is that Bitcoin, which is still the flagship cryptocurrency, is still floating just under $7000 per unit.
While it has improved slightly as of late, this is still a 65% decline from the all time high it reached back in December 2017.
Japan’s financial watchdog has so far not released any data on the Japanese cryptocurrency market.
Now, however, things are changing.
New data revealed
Coindesk has translated the fresh data revealed by Japan’s Financial Services Agency, and it shows that across the 17 domestic exchanges in the country, over 3.5 million people are trading in cryptocurrency.
As with the Western markets, the Japanese cryptocurrency traders are mostly made up of the younger generations.
The data released by the Japanese FSA shows that 84% of the traders are between the ages of 20-40.
Of these 84%, 28% of them are in their 20s, 34% of them are in their 30s, and 22% of the traders are in their 40s.
What could also be gleaned from the data was that the value of Bitcoin traded in Japan rose from just $22 in 2014 to a staggering $97 billion in 2017 last year.
Similarly, credit, margins, and futures of Bitcoin as also saw a dramatic rise. In 2014 it was just $2 million, whereas in 2017 it had soared to over $543 billion.
Even though the Japanese exchange Coincheck was hacked for $533 million this year, the crypto-economy has not slowed down.
The Japanese exchanges, however, are in general still not seen as prominent on the world stage.
For example, the two Japanese exchanges bitFlyer and Bitbank only rank as #19 and #39, respectively.
One of the reasons for this could be that many, if not most, Japanese cryptocurrency traders are trading on international exchanges.
Regulators on the horizon
Whilst the data bodes well for the Japanese cryptocurrency market, regulators in Japan are also preparing to make a move to step in.
The Japanese government has funded a research group which is not proposing to regulate the Japanese ICO market.
The proposals include policies to protect the consumers and prevent illegal money laundering schemes.
The group published a report in which they said:
“Appropriate rules must be set to enable ICO to obtain public trust and to expand as a sound and reliable financing method,” adding that their efforts are intended to propose “rules needed to establish ICO as a sustainable financing method based on discussions conducted by the research group.”
The only way is up
Despite these changes, however, Japan is set to continue its growth in the cryptocurrency space, seeing as other Eastern countries like China and South Korea have not embraced the technology to the same extent.
What do you think the future holds for the East in terms of cryptocurrency trading? Do you think other Eastern countries will emulate Japan in order to compete?
Leave your comments in the section below!