Ahead of bitcoin’s recognition as an official form of payment in Japan from Saturday, Wirex, the blockchain personal finance platform, has unveiled new measures to ensure Japanese citizens and customers worldwide can fully benefit from cryptocurrency liberalization in the country.
Wirex provides pre-paid virtual and plastic cards, which can be topped up with both traditional and blockchain currencies such as bitcoin, allowing for instant exchange between conventional cash and digital money.
Co-founder, Pavel Matveev of Wirex said:
“Japan has fired a starting pistol in terms of cryptocurrency adoption. The new rules mean that bitcoin is now an official payment form in the country and this may spark a significant boost to the economy. Japan’s recognition of consumers’ appetite for cryptocurrency payments is an important development and provides other governments with food for thought if they wish to compete in an increasingly globalized and digital world.”
“Bitcoin does face certain challenges such as negative perceptions stemming from past instances of hacking and other illegality. The Japanese financial system will also face a steep learning curve regarding how to report bitcoins in accounts, for example.”
“At the same time bitcoin is rapidly integrating such challenges and is increasingly becoming more robust, as Japan’s official recognition of the cryptocurrency suggests. Integration into the financial system means companies can now more easily develop products and services.”
Wirex cards enable payments in US dollars, pounds sterling, and euros, in addition to bitcoin. Due to the recognition of bitcoin as legal tender in Japan, Wirex said that Japanese yen will be integrated into the platform imminently.
Coinciding with Japan’s move to formalize bitcoin payments, Wirex just this week enhanced its offering to provide exchange between bitcoin and USD/GBP/EUR all within its upgraded app as well as online, to offer greater flexibility and customer choice.
Earlier this month, Wirex announced it received a $3 million investment from Japanese institutional investor, SBI Group, which is part of the R3 consortium and runs Japan’s biggest fintech venture capital fund. SBI is a major investor in fintech firm, Ripple, while Wirex is one of only two UK companies to ever receive funding from a Japanese venture capital fund.