Over the past few months, the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market led an upward momentum for the global Bitcoin exchange market, continuously pushing Bitcoin price to new highs. In a period of 30 days, Bitcoin price increased from $1,200 to $1,760, recording a 32 percent monthly increase in value.
Cointelegraph particularly provided extensive coverage of the Japanese exchange market’s overwhelming performance and influence over the global exchange. The demand toward Bitcoin in Japan significantly increased following the legalization of Bitcoin and the acceptance of Bitcoin payments by the country’s single most influential electronics retailer Bic Camera.
Also, some of the largest multi-billion dollar corporations have announced the launch of their independent Bitcoin and digital currency exchanges.
Absence of fees raises concerns
One criticism over Bitcoin’s recent price surge has been the absence of fees in the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market. Some analysts suspected that the Japanese exchange market’s decision to exclude fees could have a similar effect the Chinese Bitcoin exchange had on the global exchange market.
In an interview, Japan’s two largest Bitcoin exchanges QUOINE and BitFlyer clarified that the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market does in fact have fees in place. Yuzo Kano, the CEO of BitFlyer, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange which controls over 67 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share stated:
“We charge trading fees for BTC and ‘swap point’ for FX. So it’s a different situation from China before this January. We are seeing funds inflowing not only to BTC but also all crypto markets.”
Mike Kayamori, CEO of QUOINE, which also controls around 10 percent of the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market share further emphasized that fees are charged for all traders other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Thus, the claims of analysts that there currently is instability in Bitcoin price due to the low fees or absence of fees on Japanese Bitcoin exchange market are false.
“At QUOINE, we are charging fees on all trades other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Every other currency pair, as well as margin trading, there is a fee. And our spreads are quite large, hence our volume is actually lower in April/May than it was March.”
Bitcoin as an alternative investment
Jon Southurst, a journalist based in Tokyo, noted that high profile and institutional investors along with casual traders are seeking out for alternative investments such as Bitcoin due to the government’s quantitative easing practice.
On April 24, Cointelegraph reported that Bitcoin price could surge as the Japanese government moved on to print massive amounts of cash. At the time, Holger Zschaepitz, the senior editor of the financial desk and market maniac at Welt, stated:
“For such reasons, it can be concluded that the current surge in Bitcoin price and the rising demand toward Bitcoin in Japan are well supported and justified.”