Japan and cryptocurrency have gone hand-in-hand since the inception of Bitcoin. Said to have been created by Satoshi Nakamoto – a pseudonym – in 2008, Bitcoin has been a technological revelation that has brought about a new form of peer-to-peer transactions as well as helping to establish the foundations of blockchain technology. While many news outlets continue to try to discover the creator of Bitcoin, as we detail at bitcoinx.com, their identity is still unknown.
Many companies saw the potential of the cryptocurrency and its ilk, with Japanese brands becoming more and more inclined to incorporate such payment options as a part of their service. In 2014, Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, stated that cryptocurrencies were accelerating, so Rakuten would move to accept Bitcoin, as relayed again on bitcoinx.com. As a gigantic Japanese eCommerce and retail brand, Rakuten effectively giving Bitcoin its stamp of approval was huge.
The nation wants to be at the forefront of the crypto-revolution, which is why major companies like Rakuten have embraced the likes of Bitcoin, as have other leisure and entertainment outlets. Bitcoin betting websites have become increasingly prevalent around the world, with Japan acting as the anchor for the innovative technology to allow such outlets to come into being.
The Rugby World Cup has been one of this year’s biggest events, with nations around the world falling in love with Japan’s passion for the sport. Japan first caught the eye of rugby fans worldwide by winning the 2011 Pacific Nations Cup, continuing to develop into a fierce competitor that would defeat South Africa in the 2015 Rugby World Cup and host the massive tournament in 2019.
With the tournament being in Japan, one would have assumed that cryptocurrency would become a strong selling point for betting sites offering their services in big rugby nations, such as Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Ireland, Wales, and England. As shown by bestbettingsites.uk, many UK-based betting websites have incorporated Bitcoin into their service, but did the Rugby World Cup really make the most of these Bitcoin betting websites while taking place in the cryptocurrency haven of Japan?
Japan standing firm with cryptocurrency
It’s no secret that cryptocurrencies have been receiving a bit of a bad reputation in the western world, as the only mainstream headline pertained to the meteoric rise of Bitcoin in 2017 and then the continued theories of the ‘bursting bubble.’ While not exactly a reliable or perhaps even a competent source of information, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, has also been very outspoken on the topic of cryptocurrencies, branding the technology “not money” and “based on thin air” as detailed by usatoday.com. Even though the credibility here is low, it still puts cryptocurrencies in the headlines in a dim light.
Instead of dismissing cryptocurrencies or inciting fear-mongering, there is still a huge number of people who are embracing the technology for its many benefits in the face of fiat currencies. For anything to become a mainstream entity, especially in the world of finances, however, it needs a strong foundation somewhere – which is exactly what Japan intends to provide. While smaller nations like Malta have established regulations to help give cryptocurrencies a ‘safe space,’ the size and strength of Japan as a global leader adds significant backing.
Being the assumed home of Bitcoin, Japan has decided that it will be incredibly open to cryptocurrencies and actively pursue avenues that seek to strengthen the sector. Their stance comes down to two main ideas, according to forbes.com: cryptocurrencies aren’t going away, and the country wants to be ready when the cryptocurrency industry establishes where it wants to be in the next five years. As cryptocurrency adoption continues to rise, its base technology – that of blockchains, will continue to be explored and will accelerate and broaden in the financial space.
While encouraging and helping cryptocurrency companies to establish themselves and their coin offerings is an important step for Japan to become a crypto-hub, it’s also necessary for the country to integrate the payment method into the everyday lives of its populous as well as those abroad. Rakuten getting into the crypto scene was huge, but to further normalize the likes of Bitcoin, the currency needs to be integrated into leisure and entertainment, with the Rugby World Cup 2019 being the prime opportunity to do so.
Using the Rugby World Cup as a platform for cryptocurrency
Despite its initial mission, many still see cryptocurrencies for their valuations on the stock market as opposed to fully-fledged payment methods. During the Rugby World Cup, millions of people all over the world were watching, including the gambling-savvy nations within the UK.
Showcasing Bitcoin as a legitimate and easier way of betting on the rugby will have helped to enhance the perception of the cryptocurrency as a method of using and obtaining money with ease and privacy. Outside of the UK, and at home in Japan, the association of a massive sporting event with the entertainment of gambling and cryptocurrencies combined will have further helped to normalize the likes of Bitcoin.
On the front of the betting companies, the 2019 Rugby World Cup has been exciting and competitive enough to have punters thinking that just about anything could happen in any game. We saw Japan beat top-seed Ireland to the tune of 19-12 to win Pool A, Uruguay defeat the heavily-favored Fiji 30-27, and England overcome the seemingly unbeatable New Zealand 19-7 in the semi-finals.
There was plenty of action, and if Bitcoin became so closely associated with the betting side of sports through promotion at the World Cup, not only would sites have benefitted from increased traffic via those who have invested in the cryptocurrency, but it could have helped to bolster Bitcoin further.
Japan and cryptocurrency look set to be intertwined for many years, but their hosting of the Rugby World Cup could have also been utilized to promote their stance on Bitcoin, and openly illustrate the many uses of Bitcoin.