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When it comes to finding the most forward-thinking countries in all of cryptocurrency, Japan will be on most people’s shortlists. It was one of the first countries to have legalized Bitcoin, which has resulted in some interesting economic changes. It now appears the Japanese financial sector wants to get involved in Bitcoin mining as well. This echoes similar plans proposed by Russian authorities not long ago.
JAPAN’S CRYPTOCURRENCY MINING VENTURE
According to Asia Nikkei, the Japanese financial sector is considering a very surprising plan of action as of right now. More specifically, it is looking into setting up its own cryptocurrency mining operation in the near term. This initiative was apparently fueled by sudden decisions made by GMO Internet and SBI Holdings. No one can deny Japan has become a regional hub for Bitcoin-related activity, as the country successfully took over from China in this regard.
Setting up a mining venture is not all that easy, mind you. There are a lot of requirements which must be met in order to do so, let alone do so profitably. Without access to proper mining hardware and cheap electricity, not much will happen. Thankfully, it is possible there are some solutions in this regard, even though we may not see a Japanese ASIC manufacturer pop up all of a sudden either. It would be rather promising to see some more competition in the ASIC space, though.
With the value of Bitcoin rising to several new all-time highs throughout 2017, it is evident Japanese financial institutions are paying close attention. While not everyone can become a Bitcoin miner overnight, there are abundant opportunities waiting to be explored in the coming months and years. Considering that a lot of Bitcoin miners feel they effectively make the rules, it is only expected that Japanese financial institutions would want to try their hand at this venture as well.
For the time being, it is a bit unclear what we can expect from Japanese Bitcoin mining operations moving forward. There are plenty of opportunities out there, even if it means having to buy ASIC hardware from Chinese manufacturers. Their main objective is to decentralize the mining scene itself, which is primarily dominated by Chinese mining pools. In fact, over 60% of all Bitcoin mining hashpower currently flows through Chinese mining pools.
Given the recent crackdown by Chinese government officials on ICOs and cryptocurrencies, it is evident something needs to change. A power vacuum of sorts has been created in the mining world, although there is no one slated to fill it right now. Japan could certainly become a big player in this regard, especially when considering the country has already overtaken China when it comes to buying and selling Bitcoin. Right now, Japan and South Korea are the leading Bitcoin trading markets by volume.
SBI Holdings appears particularly interested in shaking up the Bitcoin ecosystem as we speak. Its president, Yoshitaka Kitao, recently commented that “a way will be found to correct the situation where Chinese operators have much say.” That’s an interesting train of thought, to say the least. With a few companies already planning to enter the mining sector, things will get pretty interesting moving forward. Their goals can only be achieved if access to cheap electricity is provided, which may prove more complicated than is currently assumed.