Japan Will Launch Its Own Crypto…and Australia Could Be Next

Nothing can stop bitcoin. Not Chinese bans, and not even banker discontentment. Across the world, bitcoin and digital currencies are stronger than ever.

In October 2017, bitcoin climbed 29%, to US$5,601.89. Year-to-date, the token is up more than 461%, making it one of the best performing assets this year.

bitcoin price climb

Source: CoinDesk

Bitcoin now has a market cap of more than US$90 billion. 11 other cryptocurrencies also have market caps exceeding US$1 billion. But bitcoin remains the most traded crypto. A number of people that want exposure to cryptos settle on bitcoin.

Take a look at the graph below.

cryptocurrency trading

Source: Bloomberg

The first chart shows the level of trading by currency, with bitcoin exceeding all others by some distance. The second graph is what exchange rate trades are looking at for bitcoin. For example, USD to bitcoin or AUD to bitcoin.

In this respect, the Chinese yuan was dominant up until February 2017. Of course, bans and the shutdown of various exchanges have limited Chinese traders somewhat. But the Japanese yen has picked up where the yuan left off.

In the case of ethereum, the Korean won is one of the most prevalent at exchange rates. Why? Bloomberg explains:

In the case of Ethereum, the Korean won has become prevalent as rules that limit access to more traditional assets are driving Korean investors to mine and trade the second-biggest cryptocurrency.

Japan’s Interest in Bitcoin

What’s interesting is Japan’s interest in bitcoin. This is a nation that loves paper and coins. However, the Japanese government is now slowly trying to wean its population off physical cash. As reported by Business Insider:

With the rise of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Szetho said “plenty of exploration is happening around this topic around the world”.

Last month, a consortium of Japanese banks — with the backing of that country’s central bank and regulators — was reported to be working on a digital currency to launch in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The new J-Coin would be exchanged at a one-to-one rate to the Japanese yen, and is being created to push a population still very much in love with coins and notes towards a cashless society.

Australian National Crypto?

But this isn’t just happening in Japan. Australia might also get its own national cryptocurrency.  Business Insider continues:

A group of fintech start-ups have submitted cases to the Reserve Bank of Australia and the federal Treasury to demonstrate the need for a new government-endorsed Australian dollar cryptocurrency.

Business Insider can reveal three fintechs, through industry body FinTech Australia and the government’s Fintech Advisory Group, presented use-cases for a new Digital Australian Dollar — the DAD — which would be pegged to the physical Australian dollar and compete against the likes of Bitcoin and Ethereum.

“The Digital Australian Dollar would be a huge step to grow our vibrant blockchain and digital currencies industry,” said FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho.

“Having key stakeholders like the RBA involved in further explorations of an Australian digital currency will help build trust and usage of cryptocurrencies, but at the same time will ensure we do not undermine Australia’s currency stability and sound monetary policy.”

Cheers,

Härje Ronngard,

Junior Analyst, Money Morning

PS: If you want to know more about bitcoin before bans are lifted and the currency continues on its way towards worldwide mass adoption, click here.


Money Morning is Australia’s most outspoken financial news service. Your Money Morning editorial team are not afraid to tell it like it is. From calling out politicians to taking on the housing industry, our aim is to cut through the hype and BS to help you make sense of the stories that make a difference to your wealth. Whether you agree with us or not, you’ll find our common-sense, thought provoking arguments well worth a read.

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