In the 1960s and 70s, with the turning point being the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, the Japanese economy enjoyed economic expansion of 6.0 to 10.0 percent. This explosive expansion was built on industries such as steel, consumer and industrial electronics, and autos. However, over time Japan has seen its population grow old, while its traditional strengths in said industries were challenged by new names from South Korea, Taiwan and China. In short, Japan lost its technological edge in many industries. Now, the burden of collecting taxes to care for an aging population falls on the government. Now after decades of mismanaging the economy, Japan`s leadership is looking for the next explosive industry that will thrive and generate cash flow. Now the country is looking at cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Many new firms, young start-ups are looking past the speculative world of cryptocurrency trading and at the potential for practical everyday uses for blockchain technology. According to many of the new entrepreneurs, they are on the same page when they say that they are looking beyond financial institutions (many banks are investing in blockchain technology) and investing in the next wave of products. Some feel, and we here at Classiarius agree, that the 2017 to 2018 period for crypto and blockchain is much like the beginnings of the internet in 1993 and 1994. There are so many new ideas that have yet to be realized.
Some fear the heavy hand of regulation which could arrest blockchain growth just as new technologies are being introduced. What is needed is a culture of blockchain ideas and new blood building out new firms. For some reason, Japanese leaders seem to get it.
Keep in mind that Japan is a country that respects rules and regulations. It is built into the social structure as well as embedded in its traditions and culture. But when talking about these fears, we see that this time, the Japanese regulators, under the guidance of forward-thinking leadership are stepping back to let this new world of crypto and blockchain grow. Currently there are 16 exchanges in Japan, all self-regulating. Sure, there have been illegal ICOs, money laundering, tax evasion, thefts and heists that totaled almost 1 billion US dollars, but again, the regulators are firm, framing laws and guidelines but at the same time, allowing this new ecosystem to expand.
More on Japan crypto and blockchain in the coming weeks.