Cryptocurrency News From Japan: Jan. 26–Feb. 1 in Review
This week in Japan, SBI Holdings’ president said to watch for central bank digital currencies, or CBDC, Coincheck exchange tallied top app downloads for exchanges is 2019, Japan’s central bank head forecasted CBDC demand, a Japanese political party proposed blockchain for document security, and a research institute unveiled a crypto index.
Check out some of this week’s crypto and blockchain headlines, originally reported by Cointelegraph Japan.
President of Japanese financial services giant says CBDC is a big deal
Yoshitaka Kitao, President of Tokyo-based financial services company SBI holding, called central bank digital currencies “the biggest thing to watch out for,” in a note on Jan. 31.
Kitao, however, expressed concern regarding the complexities associated with cross-border payments between countries if each region has its own central bank digital currency, or, CBDC.
The SBI president hinted toward the demise of J Coin, a specific digital asset Mizuho Financial Group developed, saying, "I can't help J-coin because the central bank digital currency will begin.” He added, “Then we have to deal with it (CBDC) in Europe, America and Japan."
Coincheck crypto exchange app ranked number one for 2019 in Japan
Tokyo-based crypto wallet and exchange Coincheck topped the Japanese trading application leaderboard with its app last year, achieving the highest number of downloads in 2019. Additionally, the app achieved the most daily active users last year.
Coincheck’s app tallied 2.74 million downloads between 2015 and 2019. The exchange also decided to give the iPhone and Android versions of its app an overhaul, simplifying the authentication process.
Bank of Japan head forecasts increasing demand for CBDC
Masakazu Amamiya, Deputy Governor for the Bank of Japan, or BOJ, thinks demand for a central bank digital currency is on the horizon in the country, noting that Japan should prepare for such a development.
Prior to Amamiya’s comments, no BOJ head has spoken strongly on central bank digital currencies, or CBDCs.
"The pace of technological innovation is very fast,” Amamiya said. “With the widespread adoption of payment systems worldwide, public demand for CBDC could surge in Japan."
Japanese political party representative advises digital documents use blockchain
During a Jan. 30 House of Counselors Budget Committee gathering, Japan Restoration Association Representative Shun Otokita recommended digital documents incorporate blockchain technology for improved security.
"With current technology, falsification can be prevented indefinitely,” he said, adding:
“Since the digitization of official documents has not been advanced, it is possible to adapt blockchain technology relatively easily .... The government blocks official document management. The use of chain technology will definitely contribute to its development. Blockchain should be implemented with the digitization of official document management."
Japan’s Nomura Research Institute announces crypto index
Located in Japan’s capital, the Nomura Research Institute, or NRI, announced a crypto index on Jan. 29. NRI’s announcement falls in line with its belief that crypto assets will continue market advancement in the coming days.
Focused on institutional participants, the NRI/IU Crypto Asset Index Family hit the markets on Jan. 31, paired against the Japanese yen. The institute also launched a U.S. version of the index, paired against USD.
The index includes price action for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ehtereum, Litecoin and XRP.