Money for Nothing: Bitcoin, Japan & I

Source: Gaijin Pot
Money for Nothing: Bitcoin, Japan & I

Digital currency is taking the world by storm. Yet, as with other things this country has adopted — from Star Wars to KitKats — Japan has taken its love of bitcoins and multiplied it until it’s over 9,000. So what exactly is it and how is it being used any differently here?

Created in 2009, Bitcoin is a digital-only, or “crypto,” currency. It has no middleman or central administrative body such as a bank or government with a maximum of 21 million bitcoins that can be created. (Since Bitcoin is both a currency and a protocol, the use of capitalization can be confusing. For this article, we use “Bitcoin” singular and with an upper case “B” when referring to the protocol, software or community; and “bitcoin” with a lower case “b” when talking about it as cash.”

No one quite knows who really created the cryptocurrency. The only information we have is that it was made by someone, something or some people using the fake or real name or pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. Many have claimed (or denied) being the illusive cryptocurrency creator, but as of yet, their true identity remains a secret. I’m not saying it’s me, but no one has seen the alleged Mr. Nakamoto or I in the same room, at the same time. Just sayin’…

It would be somewhat poetic if the creators were Japanese, as two of the biggest cryptocurrency thefts have taken place here in the land of the rising sun. One of those misappropriations was from Mt. Gox — the less successful cousin of Mt. Fuji who won’t stop crashing on your sofa. Mt. Gox was a Tokyo-based bitcoin exchange. In 2014, Mt. Gox reported over 650,000 bitcoins stolen. At today’s rate, those same bitcoins are estimated to be worth close to ¥978 billion …continue reading