Yuzo Kano, the CEO at Bitflyer, Japan’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with over 800,000 active users, explained how conservative Japanese investors have started to “go all-in” on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
The vast majority of investors in Japan, South Korea, and China are extremely conservative with their investments and skeptical toward allocating capital to new asset classes. But, over the past three years, Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have become mainstream assets in the Japanese market and consequently, Japan has evolved into the largest Bitcoin exchange market ahead of the US.
Currently the Japanese Bitcoin exchange market accounts for 61.23 percent of global Bitcoin trades, more than twice of the trading volume of the US market.
In an interview with The New York Times, Kano explained that upon the legalization of Bitcoin as a digital currency and the authorization of cryptocurrency exchanges by the Financial Services Agency (FSA), conservative Japanese investors have started to “go all-in” on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency investments.
“Japanese people tend to be very conservative with their investments, but once they get triggered they go all in.”
A similar trend has emerged in South Korea, as Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have become the norm. Tony Lyu, the founder and chief executive of Korbit, the South Korean cryptocurrency exchange that was acquired by the $10 billion gaming company Nexon at a $140 million valuation, explained:
“Word just spreads really fast in Korea. Once people are invested, they want everyone else to join the party. There’s been this huge, almost a community movement around this.”
In consideration of the rapid growth rate of the Japanese and South Korean Bitcoin markets, prominent investors and analysts including Tuur Demeester have noted that the mid-term trend of the Bitcoin price would likely depend on the performance of two markets.
Already, high profile, institutional, and retail traders have started to engage in Bitcoin and cryptocurrency trading. Companies like BitFlyer and Korbit, that are backed by multi-billion dollar investment firms and technology conglomerates, will continue to develop necessary infrastructures for large-scale investors and provide sufficient liquidity for retail traders.
Services to traders
Particularly, the demand for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in South Korea is increasing exponentially due to the emergence of offline exchanges and in-person customer service for investors and traders exploring the cryptocurrency market. At the CoinoneBlocks offline exchange in South Korea, beginner and casual traders can purchase Bitcoin through offline methods such as ATMs and USB drives.
The New York Times has also revealed the in-person customer service of Korbit, which provides services to traders and investors that are not familiar with cryptocurrencies. Investors can receive assistance in creating wallets and accounts on trading platforms.