Shortly after recognizing Bitcoin and digital currencies, Japan continues to take thorough steps to create an attractive environment for digital currency trading and use in daily purchases.
In the latest forward looking preparations - Japanese exchanges lineup to secure smooth operation irrelevant of Aug. 1 events.
Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 148 is set to be signaled by miners in August with hopes that SegWit2x gets locked in.
This means that transactions will become both quicker and cheaper. However, not everyone agrees and it is uncertain if this will be successful. A scenario of Bitcoin forking, or breaking into two separate chains is possible if no enough parties agree to signal for BIP148.
The Aug. 1 events have been unsettling the market as July continues to be the choppiest month traders have faced this year. There is no doubt that a possible fork of the peg and major cryptocurrency is no easy feat and disruption can occur, irrelevant of the outcome.
Nikkei Asian Review reports that local exchanges such as Bitbank, Tech Bureau have decided to let trading continue, while withdrawals and deposits will be temporarily blocked. The largest exchange in Japan, bitFlyer, has yet to announce a plan of action and expects to do so next week. With the volatility and uncertainty, many traders might decide to exit crypto completely, or even fully while others seek to grasp opportunities during this time.
BitFlyer announced the introduction of Litecoin on July 12. The timely addition may be no coincidence. The currency touted as ‘silver next to Bitcoin as gold’ has appreciated four-fold since the beginning of the year and is quickly lining up to be traders go to hedge as the most similar large cap coin next to Bitcoin.
Ahead of the pack
Japan has been somewhat of a leader in both an attractive environment for cryptocurrency the nationwide chain Bic Camera started offering clients the option to pay with Bitcoins in an initial trial. The vendor announced a nationwide rollout on July 11 with the help of the nation’s largest exchange - bitFlyer.
"Demand was so strong for Bitcoin that at one point there was a premium of spread of as much as $300."
Another flag of Japan being a front runner is the quick change in legislation to eliminate the eight percent consumption tax on Bitcoin.
All in the space of a short six months, the nation went from recognizing cryptocurrency to implementation in day-to-day payments and now keeping close watch at the exchanges in order to promote safe exchanges. It seems highly unlikely that Japan is interested in playing host to another possible MtGox.