5 Reasons Why Cryptocurrency Payments Do Not Penetrate Japan

Cryptocurrency has been making headlines around the world as an alternative form of payment. However, Japan, a country known for its technological advancements, has been slow to embrace this trend. In this article, we will explore the five main reasons why cryptocurrency payments have not yet penetrated the Japanese market.

  • Preference for cash transactions

Japan is a country that still heavily relies on cash transactions. Even with the popularity of electronic payment methods such as credit cards and mobile payments, many consumers still prefer to use cash. This preference for physical money makes it difficult for cryptocurrencies to gain traction, as they are not physical currencies and may be perceived as less tangible.

Most places in Europe and the United States accept credit cards and other payment methods other than cash. But in Japan, many places, such as paying at the Izakaya (Japanese bar), restaurants, and even buying a train ticket, require cash and don’t accept other payment methods.


  • Limited merchant acceptance

While Japan has a reputation for being a tech-savvy country, merchant acceptance of cryptocurrencies is still quite limited. There are only a few major companies in Japan that accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a form of payment. The example companies that accept cryptocurrencies payment are below.

・Megane Super – A nationwide retailer of eyeglasses, contact lenses, and hearing aids.

・Kojima – Electronics retailer with multiple locations across the country.

・Big Camera – One of the most well-known consumer electronics mass retailers in Japan.

Other than the aforementioned big companies, cryptocurrency payments are not yet accepted.

This lack of acceptance makes it difficult for consumers to use their cryptocurrency for everyday transactions, further reducing their incentive to use it.

  • Reluctance to accept new technologies and inventions

Japan has developed earlier than other countries in terms of technology and still uses the same technology from that time period. Once one technology has permeated, a system has been built that makes accepting new technology and inventions difficult. Furthermore, in Japan, where the seniority system is deeply ingrained, many elderly people remain in the managerial class, creating a barrier to accepting new technology. Many young people are attempting to adopt new technology, but many companies management teams are old and have decision-making power, so young people’s ideas and new technology are really difficult to get accepted.

  • Concerns about security and fraud

Cryptocurrencies have a reputation for being vulnerable to security breaches and fraud. While blockchain technology provides a level of security, there have been instances of cryptocurrency exchanges being hacked, resulting in the loss of funds. The high-profile nature of these incidents has made some consumers hesitant to use cryptocurrencies for fear of losing their money.

It was widely reported that many celebrities in Japan bought Bitcoin and lost a lot of assets due to the crash. At that time, many people in Japan did not even know the names of virtual currency and bitcoin, and this accident made the Japanese people have the image of “virtual currency = risky investment.”

  • Cultural and social barriers

Lastly, there may be cultural and social barriers that are hindering cryptocurrency adoption in Japan. The Japanese culture places a high value on trust and stability, and cryptocurrencies may be perceived as too risky and unstable. Additionally, there may be a lack of awareness and understanding of cryptocurrencies among the general population, which may make them hesitant to use them for transactions. It is critical that the possibility of a crash be as low as possible in order for virtual currency to spread in Japan. Until that is realized, it is highly likely that virtual currency will be difficult to accept widely in Japan.

Virtual currency as a payment method is not yet accepted in Japan, but it is becoming popular for investment and online casino payments. Because online casinos are legally positioned in a gray area in Japan, cryptocurrency online casinos are gaining popularity due to their high anonymity. In recent years, cryptocurrency online casinos such as Stake, bit casino, and ivibet have launched full-fledged services for Japan. 

One major reason cryptocurrency can be used at online casinos is that the majority of online casinos available in Japan are operated by companies based outside of Japan. Only government-approved gambling is legal in Japan. It would have been difficult to use cryptocurrency if an online casino was run by a Japanese company.

In conclusion, while cryptocurrencies have gained popularity around the world, Japan has been slow to adopt this trend. The preference for cash transactions, limited merchant acceptance, concerns about security and fraud, Reluctance to accept new technologies and inventions, and cultural and social barriers have all contributed to the slow adoption of cryptocurrencies in Japan.  However, as technology continues to advance and awareness and understanding of cryptocurrencies increase, it is possible that we may see a shift in the Japanese market in the future. Also, If Japanese people have more opportunities to use online services from other countries, such as online casinos, public perception may change, and cryptocurrency may be accepted.

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