Bitcoin is moving from the fringe, where all trends start to the mainstream and this is just the beginning. With Japans inflation rates rising, quantitative easing and a faltering Yen, Bitcoin adoption seems to be trudging its way into convention.
According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency on April 1st 2017 a new law went into affect that officially recognizes virtual currencies to be used as legal tender. This differs from most countries as of right now, the U.S sees BTC as a commodity while others just say it is “not illegal”. In Japan this all comes in the aftermath of the MT. Gox meltdown. Following this incident heated debates transpired, in which the future of Bitcoin and crypto currencies were discussed by policy makers.
Large Japanese Stores Accepting Bitcoin
Retailers and big business appear to be rushing to adopt bitcoin as a payment method due to the fact that Japan officially took first place for the largest Bitcoin exchange market in the world, overtaking China and the U.S. Bitcoin trading volume in Japan has surpassed most other exchanges.
Bic Camera a major Electronics retailer is also accepting Bitcoin in two of their stores. Shoppers will be able to pay in bitcoin once their smartphones read two-dimensional barcodes that will be shown on displays at Bic Camera stores. They are partnering with Bitflyer Inc. a Tokyo based major Bitcoin exchange operator.
Recruit Lifestyle, the retail branch of the human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings, is cooperating with another Tokyo bitcoin exchange operator Coincheck to include bitcoin payment options into its AirRegi application. 4,500 Japanese Stores are currently accepting bitcoin. With the AirRegi app is expected to bring another 260,000 more stores into the crypto-economy.
On the other side of the coin, with this growing acceptance of Bitcoin comes growing regulation. Among the regulations, a company is required to have at least $100,000 in reserve currency, report their activities to the government regularly, and undergo routine external audits.
There will also be a fee of $300,000 to adopt bitcoin as a payment method followed by receiving their official virtual currencies payment license. This is certain to ward off small businesses unfortunately. With all this said, Japan definitely seems to be leading the race when it comes to virtual currency adoption.