Japan's big, established brokerage houses are opening up to blockchain -- the technology behind bitcoin -- in a growing recognition of its game-changing potential despite a year and a half of setbacks for cryptocurrencies.
Leading Japanese brokerages will form an organization Tuesday to set rules for issuing blockchain-based digital securities that represent a new way of raising capital from assets like real estate.
Mitsubishi Electric and Yaskawa Electric are among 100 major Japanese manufacturers set to share production data with each other to improve efficiency, using blockchain technology to ensure their information remains secure, Nikkei has learned.
Mike Kayamori, the co-founder and CEO of Liquid Group Inc., spoke about how blockchain technology is changing society and associated global trends at The Japan Times Advanced Technology Forum held in Tokyo on May 31. The forum was supported by the Ogasawara Foundation for the Promotion of Science and Engineering as one of its subsidized projects.
Major banks in Japan, the U.S. and Europe are developing a blockchain-based digital coin that can be used to instantly settle overseas money transfers instantly, lowering transaction costs by cutting out intermediaries.
On Oct. 15, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed during an extraordinary Cabinet meeting that the government would raise the consumption tax from 8 to 10 percent next Oct. 1. The tax hike has already been postponed twice owing to jitters over how it might affect consumption. The last consumption tax increase, in 2014, sparked a recession, and reportedly there is still a chance that Abe might postpone the hike once again if economic indicators show a similar scenario. Consequently, the prime minister said the government would do its “utmost to minimize a negative impact on the economy by implementing all sorts of policies.”
With $300 million in fresh funding, one of the biggest U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges is looking for a foothold in Asia, a signal of the region's growing clout as bitcoin looks into the next decade.
Japan's Financial Services Agency is considering leverage caps for margin trading of cryptocurrencies to curb speculative trading and limit user exposure to volatility risks.
Major U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said Japan's tighter scrutiny of the industry will give it an advantage, signaling the company's confidence in securing regulatory approval to enter a market rocked by hacking scandals.
The Japanese cryptocurrency exchange that lost over 7 billion yen ($61.5 million) to hackers last month has yet to repay the victims of the breach, while both industry and regulators seek stronger consumer protections against the risks plaguing the field.