business

Bitcoin proving big hit in Japan

33 Comments
By Ayaka McGill and Etienne Balmer

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33 Comments
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The hype article forgot to mention that it takes hours to process a transaction (are you willing to wait hours at the Yodobashi counter) and it costs about $30 in fees per transaction.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

It doesn’t cost that in Japan.

How much does it cost then? Btw, my Suica is free.

Anyways, Ethereum and Dogecoin fees are much lower.

Interestingly, Putincoin is skyrocketing, why don't you buy some.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

How much does it cost then?

Thank you for admitting you threw that number out there without any clue of what it costs.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

This feature is about 3 months too late, Bitcoin is on its last legs. All the money to be made has already been made. I'm very much afraid that "Miss Bitcoin" is headed for a fall. Ethereum is the way to go if cryptocurrencies are your thing. Personally, I think it's all nonsense...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Although for the last month or so I’ve noticed commercials for the bitFlyer exchange on the local TV channels, I have yet to hear anyone talking about nor see any local stores that accept payment in bitcoin. I wonder how much of a “hit” bitcoin really is outside of the big cities. Granted this town could be a hive of out of sight online bitcoin activity but I wonder.....

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This feature is about 3 months too late, Bitcoin is on its last legs. All the money to be made has already been made. I'm very much afraid that "Miss Bitcoin" is headed for a fall. Ethereum is the way to go if cryptocurrencies are your thing. Personally, I think it's all nonsense...

what makes your prediction any more accurate than all the other people who have naysayed bitcoin since the beginning?

people have been saying bitcoin is finished since 2011, yet here we are, and if you'd held a few thousand dollars worth of bitcoin in 2011 you'd be a millionaire now.

don't pretend to understand whether stocks, currencies, etc. will go up or down. nobody sees the future.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

55% tax on crypto currency? What?! Scandalously high. In my home country it's only 35%.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 profits made from bitcoin trading are considered as "miscellaneous income" and subject to a higher tax rate of 55%.

I don't think that's right. Maybe 55% including prefectural and city taxes, etc., according to my accountant friend. But there is not an exceptional tax for bitcoin as far as I know.

it takes hours to process a transaction (are you willing to wait hours at the Yodobashi counter) and it costs about $30 in fees per transaction.

Again. not quite right. During an attack, such as that launched by Miss Bitcoin's friend Roger Ver (aka "Bitcoin Jesus") things can get that bad. (When there's a car crash on the expressway, traffic comes to a halt as well.) But generally the fees are a few dollars and transactions can take as little as 5 or 10 minutes, depending on how many confirmations the receiving party needs. That is still too expensive and too long, but there are plenty of solutions in the works. If bitcoin decides to instead go the course of digital store of wealth rather than a payment solution, there are plenty of other cryptocurrencies that will do a great job.

It's great that people are starting to take an interest, but Ethereum and Ripple are both highly problematic. There are many second tier coins, such an NEM, Litecoin, Vertcoin, Reddcoin and more that have great potential.

Then there are the second generation coins that forego the blockchain altogether with new decentralized systems, including Iota, Raiblocks, Byteballs and the much talked about but still in progress Hashgraph.

Which coins will be the winners is anyone's guess, but they will be huge. Hence all the speculation. I know a lot of people wish this would all just go away, but it's really just getting started. Change is rarely welcome by most people.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No question crypto will get bigger and bigger. Real question is which crypto will see the most gains and losses. ETH is at $1098 now. That is like a 10,000% gain for the year. Yesterday it was Ripple. Tomorrow it could be XLM or ENG. Best bet is buy some of each with money you can afford to lose, expect to lose, and enjoy any upside as a pleasant surprise.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The hype article forgot to mention that it takes hours to process a transaction (are you willing to wait hours at the Yodobashi counter) and it costs about $30 in fees per transaction.

Last night, for the first time ever, I saw someone buy a beer in a bar with Bitcoin, and it didn't take any longer than using cash.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

While I'm all good with investing in bitcoin, investing all your money in one thing is extremely foolish.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

How exactly does one pay a retailer in bitcoin? Do I need to have my computer with me?

Also, I understood bitcoins value being in anonymous transactions. If you have to show up in person and provide personal details then I see no advantage over a credit card.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Another factor contributing to a bitcoin boom in Japan: ultra-low interest rates from the deflation-battling central bank that has left investors scratching their heads for places to find returns on their cash.

i guess they never heard of foreign stock markets hitting all-time highs throughout the last year.

"Now, a lot of traders are struggling to calculate the amount to be taxed and I think there will be a lot of tax evasion scandals in the near future,"

Easily solved for trading on domestic platforms like bitFlyer, but trickier for direct peer to peer trading indeed...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Crypto currency may well become useful but right now it seems to be speculative rather than mainstream.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

don't pretend to understand whether stocks, currencies, etc. will go up or down. nobody sees the future.

Actually stocks have a long history and historically go up. I have my kids loading up their otoshidama in foreign stocks. The returns on stocks will compound nicely over the years.

Currencies by definition go up and down relative to other currencies, although a currency can go in one direction for a long time.

Bitcoin is not inherently worth much because anyone can decide to fork the program and create spinoffs or alternatives. To the extent people opt to use these things for real purposes they have value in the short term but this lady putting all her money in cryptocurrencies had better stay on her game because these assets are unproductive and yield nothing. I do not know anyone who has ever bought anything using bitcoin or any other alt. They are not mainstream beyond their utility for financial speculation.

Stocks are the way to go long term. Stocks represent shares in profits and growth of companies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

55% tax on crypto currency? What?! 

That is the top rate of income tax. You don’t need to pay as much if your overall income is low.

But yes taxing anyone 55 yen from 100 is a scandal. A double scandal it is that Japan also double taxes such wealth again in the form of gift and inheritance tax. As if the person spending such inheritance money is not paying consumption tax too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

BTC does almost nothing well that its boosters claims it is good for.  Japanese "investors" (the "mythical Mrs Watanabe) have a long history of being at the forefront of making stupid "investments".  Equity at the 38,000 peak - check.  Structured notes giving exposure to all sorts of exotic currencies - check.  Leveraged FX trading - check.  binary options- check. 

so, sure, people have made a lot of money, especially those who got in at the outset and "own" most of the BTC mined to date.  always people who make money when a bubble is blowing up.  This will eventually cause the last suckers a lot of financial pain. 

and the ridiculous local regulators stand by and do nothing while at then same time having massive overregulation of regulated banks and brokers and the like. 

As usual here, the person in the street pays the price for a blinkered bureaucracy and political class view of the world.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just thought of another avenue for tax evasion - say you bought bitcoins at 100,000 yen and then buy beer with them today when the price is 1,900,000 yen. There is a tidy profit of 1900% there in the bitcoin satoshis you spent on the beer that the government wants to spend tax, i would assume... but there is no way they can track such tax evasion through spending.

This only works for as long as bitcoin is in fashion though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do I need to have my computer with me?

try a smartphone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Burning Bush ...you are correct about the transaction fees as it's almost $30 per transaction. People out here thumbing you down are just idiotic Bitcoin supporters!

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/19/big-transactions-fees-are-a-problem-for-bitcoin.html

Also you mentioned about the transaction time ( buying and selling bitcoins ) being too long ( sometimes even a few hour / days / weeks )

https://blog.bitpay.com/transaction-delays/

https://99bitcoins.com/why-bitcoin-transaction-pending-bitcoin-fees/

It's way too late to invest in bitcoins because of the high value. 2-4 years ago was an ideal time but now your returns might not be that high looking at all contributing factors! People interested in cryptocurrencies should look at more affordable option out there.

Finally, never invest all your money in one thing...that's just stupidity to the highest level!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@MikeH "@Burning Bush ...you are correct about the transaction fees as it's almost $30 per transaction. People out here thumbing you down are just idiotic Bitcoin supporters!

Also you mentioned about the transaction time ( buying and selling bitcoins ) being too long ( sometimes even a few hour / days / weeks )"

So to be clear, if I want to purchase something with bitcoin I need to pay at $30 transaction fee and wait up to several hours? Who the heck would even consider that when my credit card makes an instantaneous transaction at no cost to me, carries the balance for up to 30 days, and provides me various types of insurance to boot?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Reckless.

Exactly - BTC as a payment mechanism is rubbish.  Unless you are buying illegal things that you can't pay for using a credit card or PayPal.

BTC is an ideological thing (in part) for those who believe that government money is bad, banks are crooked and that the State should just leave us alone.  And also a scam artists dream area for milking the unwary or gullible.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All these people celebrating Bitcoin will be suspiciously silent the day it all comes crashing down.

Theres a sucker born every minute that tells you all about how well their investment is doing until the day they lose the shirt off their back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There's no such thing as easy money. Not forever anyway. It may seem easy at first but then that killer human instinct called greed kicks in and it's back to square one (or minus a few squares).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Bitcoin is on its last legs.

I don't think so. It still has the same intrinsic value it always did. It may drop in price, but until/unless a new technology comes along that disrupts it, bitcoin is not going anywhere.

And in other news, bitcoin's real value could be zero...

http://fortune.com/2017/12/26/bitcoin-price-value-bubble-crash-says-morgan-stanley-analyst/

Morgan Stanley has a vested interest in Bitcoin failing, as they are a large bank, and bitcoin bypasses the banks. Take articles written by their people with a grain of salt, as they want to try to pressure people away from bitcoin all they can.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

but until/unless a new technology comes along that disrupts it, bitcoin is not going anywhere.

Umm, have you heard of Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monacoin (big in Japan) and Putincoin?

They're popping up like weeds, each with better tech than Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is the AOL of blockchain technology.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Umm, have you heard of Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monacoin (big in Japan) and Putincoin?

They're popping up like weeds, each with better tech than Bitcoin.

What's your point? None of them have been enough to disrupt Bitcoin yet. Sometimes all it takes is to be the first one in the game, and get a strong foothold.

Whether they are 'better' or not than bitcoin isn't relevant - it's whether people use it or not that matters. And with bitcoin being used by more people, with more places they can use it, it's not likely to go anywhere anytime soon.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

.you are correct about the transaction fees as it's almost $30 per transaction. People out here thumbing you down are just idiotic Bitcoin supporters!

Uh, yes he is wrong. And so are you - your second-hand sources notwithstanding. (You can pretty much discount anything written about bitcoin in the mainstream media as hopelessly uninformed. May as well be reading fiction.) I actually spend bitcoin. I actually bought a computer last week with bitcoin. The fees are not that high, and it took no more time to buy the computer than a credit card purchase would have.

Those are first-hand facts, not wild tales from the uninformed.

Where bitcoin goes in the future, nobody knows. Either way, I will be fine. But cryptocurrency and blockchains are the future. It's sad to see so many people being misled by posts like yours like claim to have some authority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where does this $30 transaction fee come from? Bitcoin has very tiny transaction fees built in, but there are no external entities that are (or even are able to) charge transaction fees on top of this, so I don't understand these claims of Japan having different bitcoin transaction fees - that's impossible!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here is bitflyer's price list. I don't see anything like 3000 yen on there anywhere

https://bitflyer.jp/ja-jp/Commission?top_link

And seeing as Japan does not use dollars, I think the first poster was just trolling:

 it costs about $30 in fees per transaction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@commanteer "I actually spend bitcoin. I actually bought a computer last week with bitcoin. The fees are not that high, and it took no more time to buy the computer than a credit card purchase would have."

Thanks for the anecdote. I am still struggling to find any advantage to using bitcoin as compared to cash (which is anonymous) or credit (where I get various protections as I stated above). Unless your main point is that the value of your bitcoins may be bid up in a speculative way and you are thus a speculator.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cash (which is anonymous)

Bitcoin is anonymous! That's why I use it. I wish I could use it for more.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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