DeCurret, the exchange promoting cryptocurrency to be used as a payment method for Japan’s massive public transportation system, just restructured its capital.

According to an April 10 press release by the crypto exchange, DeCurret announced that it had issued new shares worth 2.75 billion yen — approximately $25 million — in a third-party allocation of shares. The company plans to use the capital to “enhance transaction services for existing virtual currencies” and to promote the “expansion of digital currency and settlement services”.

Crypto used as payment for public transportation in Japan?

Though several prefectures in Japan have been under a state of emergency since April 8 to combat the spread of COVID-19, public transportation in the country has largely been unaffected. The number of trains and buses has been reduced but many stations are still full of commuters daily — some highlighting an absurd degree of apathy. 

Even in the midst of possible railway disruptions during the pandemic, DeCurret is considering a new crypto payment system for the East Japan Railway Company (JR East), a major investor in the exchange. The system proposed by DeCurret would enable the Suica payment card issued by the railway company to be topped-up with cryptocurrency. Nearly 70 million such cards were being used in a country of 126 million people as of March 2019.

New Japanese crypto laws in effect starting May 1

Though Decurret has been allowed to operate as a registered crypto exchange by Japan’s Financial Services Agency since it started trading in April 2019, the company may face more regulatory challenges soon.

New laws for regulating cryptocurrencies in Japan are beginning to be enforced. The Payment Services Act and Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, legislation passed by the Japanese House of Representatives last year, will come into effect starting May 1.