Blockchain, bitcoin and other cryptos can be the cause of next bonanza of the Japanese economy. The country has been struggling to restore its last century success, but the situation may change, believes Yoshitaka Kitao, a top exec at Strategic Business Innovator Group.
Technological Boom in Japan “As Is” is Something Nobody Expected
In his column “Japan's Next Economic Boom Will Be Bitcoin And Blockchain Fuelled” Forbes contributor Billy Bambrough is suggesting that the former prosperity of the Japanese economy can be reiterated thanks to DLT and bitcoin. The author writes that the last time Japan thrived was in the 1980s, but since that the country hasn’t managed to get to the same highs.
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However, Yoshitaka Kitao, the leader of financial services titan SBI Holdings, has recently said that blockchain and related tech trends will fuel Japan’s economy. Kitao, by the way, conveyed his thoughts at this week’s Japan Blockchain Conference, which might become an annual event.
Around 50 years ago, between the 1970s and 1980s, Japan was the second most powerful country after the US in terms of GDP. Despite this, in the 1990s the nation’s financial state got stuck in a “lost decade.”
Earlier it was said that the economy of Japan could be boosted by a “technological boom,” as in The Economist’s article, for instance. Indeed, it has started paving the way. For example, such phenomena as the Internet of Things, enhanced mobile connectivity through the long-expected 5G technology, prompt growth in AI and computing power could contribute to the Japanese economic bonanza, and some of them have already started to.
But these are not the only ones. The crypto rage and the obsession over the blockchain technology can become the primary cause of Japan’s potential thriving.
Blockchain to Go Far Beyond Financial?
When taking the floor at the event, Yoshitaka Kitao said that SBI wants to bring DLT beyond financial adoption. He went on to add:
"There's a lot of speculative demand around cryptocurrencies, which is why the price is going up so quickly, but people need to think about how these technologies are being used in real life and how they can improve people's businesses."
It is noteworthy that SBI is piling into enterprises in Japan and those on the territory of East-Asia through its $460 million fund. It’s called AI & Blockchain Fund, and it was launched previously in 2018.
Because Yoshitaka believes blockchain and crypto boom to raise Japan, he has made sure SBI focuses on them.
Interestingly, this year the company has already revealed that it intends to establish a cyber-asset trading venue this summer. Moreover, it has also piled into a renewable energy wind farm to start generating Bitcoin Cash. The latter, Yoshitaka believes, is more fertile than its “Big Daddy” bitcoin. Yoshitaka said that the problem with bitcoin is that it is too costly and what people do about it is just “hodling” it in the hope its price grows.
It isn’t only SBI which puts hope into the blockchain and cryptos overall. The CEO of the decentralized app marketplace Centrality Aaron McDonald believes that it’s Japan and Asia in general who will trigger the worldwide adoption of bitcoin, cyber assets, and DLT.
McDonald also agrees that the blockchain boom is a few years away.
"We're focused on the region because people in Japan are far further ahead than the rest of the world when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrencies," added he.
Another CEO, the head of blockchain investment advisory company CTIA, one of those entities which are Centrality's investors, also believes that blockchain can prevent the Japanese economics from the decline but only in case it is integrated into its market.
But Will There Be a Bitcoin Boom?
Bambrough hints there might be problems with bitcoin and blockchain getting more adoption due to the tough regulation that the Japanese gov’t puts on the sphere. It is understandable that authorities around the world are concerned over crypto-related thefts, excessive speculation, tax evasion, terrorism supply and so on, but their global clampdown on cryptos has already caused BTC to fall drastically this year.
At first, Japan tried to be pretty soft with the industry as it brought up the law thanks to which nearly two dozens of licensed trading platforms emerged. However, this year March the Japanese gov’t penalized six crypto-bourses and required another one to reconsider its management structure.