Despite the recently increased regulatory oversight by the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) in the operations of crypto exchanges in the region, Japan remains one of the most bitcoin-friendly nations in the world.
Since the Japanese government approved a draft law that made bitcoin a valid payment method and legal tender in April 2017, quite many firms have integrated the world’s flagship crypto into their operation, making bitcoin an accepted payment method in restaurants, shops, airlines and various other places in the nation.
On July 4, 2017, reports emerged that the Air Regi app had started facilitating bitcoin payments for a vast array of firms, with about 260 thousand businesses already accept the world’s number one cryptocurrency at the time.
“Customers holding bitcoins can pay with bitcoin simply by scanning the barcode displayed on ‘Mobile payment for Air Regi’ app,” the firm stated in July 2017, adding “Some other stores are also preparing Air Regi bitcoin payments…Also, adding to existing 260,000 stores that already use Air Regi, we will cooperate with Recruit Lifestyle to expand the stores that accept bitcoin.”
While the stores are willing to accept payments in bitcoin, another thing is for hodlers to be willing to purchase goods and pay for services with bitcoin.
According to reports, Japan’s heavyweight electronics store, Bic Camera has revealed that since it started accepting bitcoin payment from clients last year, the total amount of transactions made with bitcoin is less than 1 percent.
Considering the speculative nature of the digital currency, reaching the one percent mark in two years is still a decent achievement and also an indication of greater things to come.
“When Bic Camera first installed the Bitcoin payment system in its stores, we expected that the customers paying in bitcoin would be mostly foreigners. But it turned out to be quite different. We noticed that Bitcoin was becoming very popular. Then the government announced that bitcoin was officially legal so we finally felt more comfortable introducing Bitcoin as a payment method in our stores,” said Masanari Matsumoto, PR and IR head at Bic Camera.
Bitcoin and other crypto pessimists may be happy with the recent market slump. However, the fact remains that the crypto industry has come to stay and the bulls will return soon.