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JAPAN IS BRINGING BITCOIN TO THE MAINSTREAM
Bitcoin is moving from the fringe, where all trends start to the mainstream and this is just the beginning. With Japans inflation rates rising, quantitative easing and a faltering Yen, Bitcoin adoption seems to be trudging its way into convention.

According to Japan’s Financial Services Agency on April 1st 2017 a new law went into affect that officially recognizes virtual currencies to be used as legal tender. This differs from most countries as of right now, the U.S sees BTC as a commodity while others just say it is “not illegal”. In Japan this all comes in the aftermath of the MT. Gox meltdown. Following this incident heated debates transpired, in which the future of Bitcoin and crypto currencies were discussed by policy makers.

LARGE JAPANESE STORES ACCEPTING BITCOIN

Retailers and big business appear to be rushing to adopt bitcoin as a payment method due to the fact that Japan officially took first place for the largest Bitcoin exchange market in the world, overtaking China and the U.S. Bitcoin trading volume in Japan has surpassed most other exchanges.

Bic Camera a major Electronics retailer is also accepting Bitcoin in two of their stores. Shoppers will be able to pay in bitcoin once their smartphones read two-dimensional barcodes that will be shown on displays at Bic Camera stores. They are partnering with Bitflyer Inc. a Tokyo based major Bitcoin exchange operator.

Recruit Lifestyle, the retail branch of the human resources conglomerate Recruit Holdings, is cooperating with another Tokyo bitcoin exchange operator Coincheck to include bitcoin payment options into its AirRegi application. 4,500 Japanese Stores are currently accepting bitcoin. With the AirRegi app is expected to bring another 260,000 more stores into the crypto-economy.

REGULATORY RESTRICTIONS

On the other side of the coin, with this growing acceptance of Bitcoin comes growing regulation. Among the regulations, a company is required to have at least $100,000 in reserve currency, report their activities to the government regularly, and undergo routine external audits.

There will also be a fee of $300,000 to adopt bitcoin as a payment method followed by receiving their official virtual currencies payment license. This is certain to ward off small businesses unfortunately. With all this said, Japan definitely seems to be leading the race when it comes to virtual currency adoption.
May-30-2017 05:39:31 PM
Even the world’s largest bitcoin exchange couldn’t handle this week’s cryptocurrency boom
For those operating a bitcoin exchange — where people can buy cryptocoins — you’d imagine that the current surge in value for bitcoin and others like Ethereum’s ether coin is a dream come true. The answer is yes and no.

Coinbase, the world’s most funded bitcoin exchange, was dragged offline by the massive increase in interest in the space. Users have reported issues with various aspects of the service this week, and things reached a head on Thursday when the Coinbase website and mobile apps were unavailable to users for hours due to “unprecedented” levels of trading and traffic, the company said.

Bitcoin crossed the $2,000 mark for the first time this past weekend, and the charge continued this week until yesterday when, after reaching a new high of $2,805 on the Coinbase exchange, the valuation fell to $2,307. The currency has since stabilized, but its current value of $2,475.23 represents a $116.41 drop over the last 24 hours.

“The market cap of digital currencies has increased ~50 percent to $91 billion in the past week. As a result, Coinbase has seen a dramatic increase in traffic and trading volume,” the company told TechCrunch in a statement.

“The Coinbase engineering and support teams have been working round the clock to keep up with this unprecedented volume. However, Coinbase.com has suffered a few outages, including degraded performance and deposit/withdrawal delays for some users. We are actively working on resolving these issues and restoring our site to normal performance,” it added. Things seem more stable today, with the Coinbase website and app functioning as usual. Having said that, at the time of writing, there are some minor issues with certain debit and credit cards, according to the company’s own status report.

According to Crunchbase, Coinbase has raised more than $117 million from investors that include Bank Of Tokyo – Mitsubishi UFJ, the New York Stock Exchange, Union Square Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Andreessen Horowitz. Its $75 million Series C in 2015 was a record funding round for any bitcoin-focused startup.
May-27-2017 05:42:30 PM