As Japan becomes a friendlier place for bitcoin with embracive legislation, over 10 Japanese companies are reportedly launching bitcoin exchanges to capitalize on the growing demand for the cryptocurrency.
According to a Nikkei report, the cryptocurrency industry Japan is about to grow exponentially with over 10 new exchange platforms – trading bitcoin and other virtual currencies – seeking to enter the market.
This frenzied interest among companies vying for a space in the digital currency ecosystem follows significant legal changes that are set to trigger a surge in demand for the cryptocurrency among investors, traders and everyday Japanese civilians.
In March 2016, the Japanese cabinet passed bills to recognize bitcoin and digital currencies as the digital equivalent of money. On April 1, Japan legally classified bitcoin as a recognized method of payment. Late last year, Japanese officials formally decided to end the 8% consumption tax rate imposed on bitcoin buying through exchanges, which is set to go into effect in July this year.
Japanese retailers have taken notice and have already made moves toward accepting bitcoin in the country. A handful of notable partnerships between retailers and bitcoin companies will see up to 260,000 retail storefronts accepting bitcoin by this summer.