Individual cryptocurrency traders in Japan now exceed three million according to the country’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) figures just released.
The figures represent domestic data recorded from 17 cryptocurrency exchanges as of 31 March this year; the first time that the FSA has made such a survey since its founding in 2000. The agency reported that the Asian economic giant has some 3.5 million people trading cryptocurrency, with those between the ages of 20 and 40 representing 90% of the crypto trading population.
The FSA is a Japanese government agency and an integrated financial regulator responsible for overseeing banking, securities and exchange, and insurance sectors in order to ensure the stability of Japan’s financial system.
The release of this data is the agency’s latest move to bring greater transparency to Japan’s burgeoning cryptocurrency environment. According to FSA, study and disclosure of domestic trading statistics is a step towards a thorough examination of Japanese cryptocurrency trading. It represents a significant move in light of the recent hacking of domestic exchange Coincheck on 26 January, during which 526 million XEM tokens worth USD 400 million was stolen.
Following the hack, Coincheck’s Koichiro Wada reflected on Japan’s need for more skilled professionals: “We were aware we didn’t have enough people working on internal checks, management and system risk… in many ways the industry continues to deal with its ramifications”.
The new data also reveals the split between trading in Bitcoin and the practice of trading on Bitcoin margins, credit, and futures as an underlying asset. Actual Bitcoin trading volume grew from USD 22 million in March 2014 to USD 97 billion in 2017, whereas the more speculative forms of trading rocketed from USD 2 million in 2014 to a huge USD 543 billion in 2017 alone.
The number of Japanese stores that accepted Bitcoin as payment stood at 52,190 at the end of March, while only 80 stores accepted Ether.