Japanese e-giant to launch GMO-Z Bitcoin Exchange

8 June, 2017

Bitcoin is booming in Japan following the Japanese government's move to recognize the cryptocurrency as a legitimate currency. As part of this, legislation around bitcoin and cryptocurrency by Japan's parliament came into effect this spring. The legislation introduced licensing requirements for cryptocurrency changes, essentially making them more liable, in addition to recognizing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as a valid and legal payment option.

This new legislation has had a positive impact on bitcoin. Trading volumes are skyrocketing, and prices are consistently going up. In response to this boom, Japan's largest conglomerate, GMO Internet, is planning to launch a new bitcoin exchange to capitalize on growing demand. The platform, GMO-Z.com, is anticipated to launch in about two weeks, and registration has already opened. While it is currently only slated to launch in Japan, there is hope that it will expand across Asia to other countries.

"In recent years, utilization of virtual currency such as bitcoin is progressing in various transactions such as international remittance and settlement to individuals and companies, and it is said that the market size of virtual currency will reach 1 trillion yen in a few years," GMO commented in a press release earlier this month.1 "In Japan, various provisions for protecting consumers have been established by the revised fund settlement law, which took effect in April 2017. A registration system was introduced that requires the establishment of a system to carry out overseeing the exchange industry properly and reliably. This is expected to increase the health of the market. Furthermore, starting in July 2017, the consumption tax on the transfer of virtual currency will also be eliminated, so virtual currency usage is expected to spread exponentially."

Following the launch of GMO-Z.com, users will be able to trade in their yen for bitcoin. The platform will reportedly allow users to easily buy and sell bitcoin and will also offer leverage purchases in a method somewhat analogous to foreign exchange trading. Buyers will reportedly be able to leverage their investment up to five times. The platform will be open 24/7, and there will reportedly be no trading fees. The entire exchange will be insured by Mitsui Sumitomo Kaika Kaisha Insurance Co., Ltd in order to guard against disasters like cyber attacks or theft.

GMO, which also owns Japan's largest Forex and binary options brokerage platform, known as GMO Click Securities, is just one of many Japanese companies that appear keen to get into the bitcoin game. Given the skyrocketing prices and the government's willingness to view it as a legitimate currency, there are now a number of Japanese companies interested in launching various cryptocurrency exchanges and services. This includes Money Partners Group in partnership with Zaif and Kabu.com as well as MUFJ, a major Japanese bank.


1) Crypto Ninjas. Japan e-giant GMO Internet to launch bitcoin trading exchange May 24th