Bitcoin trading is booming in Japan as yen exchange rates have stabilized, bitcoin has been volatile and the Japanese government has passed virtual currency legislation, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. A total of 430 billion yen in bitcoins were traded in the first half of the year, 50 times more than in the same period in the previous year.
Yuzo Kano, CEO of bitFlyer, Japan’s largest bitcoin exchange, said trading volume has increased at an unforeseen pace. The bitFlyer exchange handles around 40 percent of Japan’s bitcoin trading. The exchange has exceeded 200,000 customers this month, a tenfold gain over a year ago.
Trading Jumps 50-Fold
Approximately 430 billion yen ($4.25 billion) worth of bitcoin was traded from January to June in Japan, 50 times the level from the prior year. More than 200 million yen in bitcoins traded in June alone, also multiplying by a factor of 50 over the prior year.
One contributing factor is the virtual currency legislation that Japan passed in May that boosted public trust in the digital currency. The legislation required digital currency exchanges to strengthen their record keeping and their financial foundations.
The legislation addresses user protection, including reporting suspicious trading activities to the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA).