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Japanese Crypto Enquiries Tripled in 2017

Figures released after the second cryptocurrency exchange group this year hosted by Japan’s FSA on 27 April show a tripling of cryptocurrency enquiries since the same time last year.

The first such meeting which took place last month revealed that there were 3.5 million now trading in cryptocurrency in Japan. These new figures confirm the massive spike in interest in digital currencies over the course of the last year.

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA), which compiled the figures, said that 2,769 domestic enquiries were filed in 2017 on topics related to cryptocurrencies, whereas the previous year the total was only 847. However, the agency confirmed that many of the enquiries were concerned with exchange platforms’ security and the legitimacy of certain ICOs. Most of the enquiries were from the 40s to 50s age group although there was only a slightly lower percentage in other age groups. Some calls were even from parents with concerns for their teenage children using cryptocurrency.

The release of this data by the FSA, after two meetings of the exchange group, is the agency’s latest move to bring greater transparency to Japan’s burgeoning cryptocurrency environment. According to it, 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.

Forbes reports that the FSA has recently taken another step towards preventing such hacking events by encouraging cryptocurrency exchanges to give up handling Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash and other anonymous cryptocurrencies favored by hackers.

Japan’s licensed cryptocurrency exchanges have also recently formed a self-regulatory body that will have enforcement power over its members. The organization would be able to create a whitelist of favourable exchanges while being able to pressure exchanges into delisting any cryptocurrencies the FSA might regard as suspect.

image source: – qimino


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Darwin’s First Crypto Cafe Joins Aussie Fintech Movers and Shakers

Darwin Cafe ‘Thrive’ is the first crypto cafe to operate in Australia’s Northern Territories State capital offering electronic payment in four cryptocurrencies.

Joint owners Kerry and sister-in-law Natalie decided to offer the service as part of a plan to attract Australian and overseas visitors to the Northern Territories. Kerry commented, “Why not jump on board, it’s quick and easy and we’re learning more every day.”

The owners remarked that customers initially responded with surprise at the new service but later showed interest in how cryptocurrency would work in the cafe scenario. Customers can currently pay in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Dash cryptocurrencies, with a cup of coffee priced at AUD 5 selling at BTC 0.00052 when interviewed by ABC Australia.

The cafe’s crypto payment program is facilitated by TravelbBit, a Queensland-based company which offers travel and payment facilities in cryptocurrency to vendors and customers. The company designs tourist routes within Australia and offers selected providers with their own TravebyBit digital currency payment platform. The company allows customers to pay in a digital currency of their choice.

Thrive in Darwin is one of many cafes around Australia to have adopted digital currency. New South Wales-based Pablo and Rusty’s Coffee Roasters also accept digital currency at its Brisbane location. The cafe chain, which is known for its scientific approach to coffee, producing the first disposable cup made entirely from coffee waste, launched Australia’s first cashless cafe in 2016. They commented that they were always on the lookout for ways of incorporating technology into their business.

Now, customers will be able to walk into the Brisbane store, order their items, and pay with a few taps on their phone – “precisely what cryptocurrency was originally intended for”.

Australia, the self-named “Lucky Country”, has adopted digital currencies with more enthusiasm than many around the world and looks to facilitate its use in a diverse range of areas on the continent.

Its attempts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry have so far been successful in its endeavors to protect citizens and the financial sector, while developing and incorporating the technology into the infrastructure of the country.


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