JAPAN is becoming the world’s hotspot for cryptocurrencies as South Korea and China both clamp down on bitcoin and its rivals, it has emerged.
Japan was one of the early adopters of bitcoin with the crypocurrency viewed as a credible payment method and and with Tokyo yet to regulate the digital token investors are flocking to the country.
It has grown to become the world leader in bitcoin trading and now accounts for 40 percent of the global total of transactions.
Amid a worldwide crackdown on bitcoin, Tokyo is now considering whether or not to focus on protecting consumers from wild fluctuations by implementing regulation in price or preserving the country’s reputation for innovation.
The connections between bitcoin and scams, tax evasion, money laundering and funding terrorism have raised concerns for most countries but so far Japan has not implemented any restrictions on bitcoin.
Takahide Kiuchi, an executive economist at Nomura Research Institute who resigned from the Bank of Japan’s policy board last year believes that the crackdowns implemented by other countries have led to funds being directed to Japan instead.
Mr Kiuchi said: “This had led to moves to transfer investment money to Japan, where regulation is relatively slack.”
Taro Aso, Japanese finance minister said: “I don’t think it is good to regulate anything and everything.”
The South Korean justice ministry said: “The ministry has been preparing a special law to shut down all cryptocurrency exchanges, but we will push for it after careful consideration with related government agencies.”
The potential cryptocurrency trading ban saw bitcoin hurt fall 12 percent on January 12 when the crackdown was announced.
China is currently trying to cut down on the amount of bitcoin miners in the country as the cryptocurrency process is using up too much of the country’s electricity.