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You'll need a Bitcoin wallet before you buy since some exchanges require one.
Don't have a wallet? Read our guide on the best Bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets.
Coinmama allows customers in almost every country to buy bitcoin. They charge a 4.9%-5.9% (depends on volume) fee on each purchase.
Customers in Europe can also purchase bitcoins with SEPA transfer for a lower fee.
Want to buy using Coinmama? This step-by-step guide will show you how to use Coinmama.
LocalBitcoins is an escrow service which also helps to match bitcoin buyers and sellers. Users may advertise trades for whichever payment method they prefer.
Buying bitcoins via an in-person meeting, secured and facilitated by LocalBitcoins, may be one of the fastest and most private ways to buy bitcoins in any country, including the United States, Europe (besides Germany), UK, Singapore, Canada, Australia and many more.
Coincheck is a Bitcoin exchange based in Japan. Registered users can buy and sell bitcoin via bank transfer or credit card.
You can use our Bitcoin ATM map to buy bitcoins with cash. Bitcoin ATMs can be a quick and easy way to buy bitcoins and they're also private. That convenience and privacy, however, comes with a price; most ATMs have fees of 5-10%.
Hong Kong-based Bitfinex has long been one of the largest USD Bitcoin exchanges in the world. Bitfinex accounts may be funded by bank wire only, their fee on accepting such transfers is low at only 0.1%.
In August 2016, however, it was hacked and lost around 30% of its users funds. While Bitfinex can be helpful for buying large amounts of bitcoins, it is probably best to not use the exchange until it fully compensates affected users.
Mycelium Local Trader helps you find local Bitcoin sellers. Once you locate a seller, you meet up in-person and conduct the trade. Mycelium charges absolutely no fees. While Mycelium Local Trader works great in highly-populated areas, users in low population areas will have trouble finding sellers.
Japan is considered to be the home of Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto thanks to the pseudonym. In a way, it is not surprising to see that the country has welcomed cryptocurrencies with open arms and leading the way when it comes to Bitcoin adoption. In fact, the country had passed a law in April 2017 that recognized Bitcoin as legal tender, giving a massive boost to the country’s Bitcoin scenario.
However, that’s just one of the many positive steps Japan has taken in favor of cryptocurrencies. Let’s take a closer look at the various other reasons why Japan is a Bitcoin advocate’s dream destination.
The easiest way to buy Bitcoin in Japan is through one of the many exchanges available in the country. Our handy guide on Bitcoin exchanges in Japan makes it easy for investors looking to choose a cryptocurrency exchange by highlighting important criteria such as transaction fees, ease of use, withdrawal limits, payment modes, reputation, and security.
However, before choosing an exchange, it is important that buyers first get a Bitcoin wallet where they will store their digital tokens. Some exchanges require users to first get a wallet, while some of them have wallets of their own. However, it is ideally suggested that users get wallets of their own given the many hacking incidents that have taken place in Japan. In case you don't have a wallet, go through our guide on the best Bitcoin & cryptocurrency wallets.
An alternate way to buy Bitcoin in Japan is by way of an ATM. There are nine Bitcoin ATMs in Japan that you can locate using our Bitcoin ATM Map, with six of them in Tokyo. The advantage of these ATMs is that you can buy Bitcoin using your debit card, get your tokens almost instantly, and also remain anonymous. The downside comes in the form of high transaction fees that range between 5%-10%.
More importantly, Japan gives Bitcoin owners a range of avenues where they can spend their digital tokens. In 2017, Japanese Bitcoin exchange Coincheck had struck a partnership with Recruit Lifestyle to enable Bitcoin acceptance across 260,000 retail locations in the country. These retail locations sell a range of items from food to medicines to eye glasses.
As such, people owning Bitcoin in Japan can easily make payments using the cryptocurrency. In fact, the government has been pushing for Bitcoin payments in Japan as it had removed the 8% consumption tax on Bitcoin in 2017. So, the Bitcoin environment in Japan is thriving and it should remain that way in the future in light of the favorable steps being taken by the regulators.
In all, it can be easily concluded that the state of Bitcoin in Japan is strong, making it easy for users looking to buy, sell, and trade the cryptocurrency in the country.
Japan is home to many large Bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges.
There are three main types of Bitcoin wallet and all of them are supported in Japan:
The Ledger Nano X is the newest crypto hardware wallet, and is very easy to use. It connects to iOS, Android & desktop computers.
Atomic wallet is a multicurrency mobile wallet with a beautiful interface and easy to use features.
Japan has a long history with Bitcoin, and therefore a long history of exchange hacks and exit scams.
The most well-known of these incidents came from Bitcoin’s first exchange, Mt. Gox.
Mt. Gox started out as a Magic: The Gathering card exchange. In fact, that is where Mt. Gox got its name from (Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange”). While it was initially created by Jed McCaleb (who would go on to help found Ripple and then Stellar Lumens), it would eventually end up in the hands of Mark Karpeles in March of 2011.
Later on, in June of 2011, Mt. Gox reported that it was missing 25,000 BTC out of 478 accounts. At the time, this Bitcoin was only worth about $400,000. Unfortunately, this was not the end of Mt. Gox, and a much bigger hack would occur in 2014.
This hack resulted in the loss of 750,000 of its customer’s Bitcoins (not dollars, Bitcoins) and around 100,000 of its own Bitcoins. In total, this accounted for about 7% of all Bitcoins in existence at the time and worth about $473 million. The announcement of this loss was preceded by weeks of withdrawal delays as Karpeles sought to buy Mt. Gox time to figure out where all the coins went.
Unfortunately for Karpeles, the withdrawal freezes actually brought more suspicion on the exchange. In 2015, security company WizSec concluded:
most or all of the missing bitcoins were stolen straight out of the Mt. Gox hot wallet over time, beginning in late 2011.
In January of 2018, Japanese crypto exchange Coincheck held a press conference to announce the largest crypto exchange hack in history. Coincheck lost approx. $533 million of NEM tokens.
The morning of the press conference, Coincheck froze its services which created speculation that a hack had occurred.
In March of 2018, Coincheck eventually began the refund process to its customers for the stolen NEM.
It also came to light that Coincheck had not registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency, but has since done so.
Along with our ongoing efforts to file applications to be registered as a Cryptocurrency Exchange Service Provider with Financial Services Agency, we will continue business.
In September of 2018, Japanese tech firm Tech Bureau notified users that over $62 million worth of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Monacoin had been stolen from its crypto exchange, Zaif.
The hack occurred over a 2 hour period on September 14, but was not discovered until the 17th.
Zaif was immediately sold to publicly traded Fisco who promised to make whole any users who lost funds due to the hack.
In July of 2019, Japanese crypto exchange BITPoint admitted that approx. $28 million of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other currencies had been stolen from the exchange.
A third belonged to the exchange, while the rest belonged to BITPoint’s customers.
In August 2019, BITPoint released more details regarding the nature of the hack. In their press release, BITPoint claimed the hackers had used malware to access private keys on hot wallets used by the exchange, and that there was no evidence that usernames and passwords had leaked.
BITPoint did end up refunding 50,000 of its customers.
With the COVID19 CCP Virus Pandemic, the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo had to be postponed to July of 2021. This move did not stop scammers based out of Japan from using this event as the basis of their next con.
Scammers send out an email to Japanese residents urging them to donate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to save the Olympic games, while appealing to the citizens sense of honor and national pride.
Translates from Japanese, the scam email reads:
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed to 2021 due to the new coronavirus. We have no choice but to bear huge damages for tickets, hotels, airline tickets, materials, etc. booked by overseas organizations.
Japan is raising funds to respond to these costs. If compensation cannot be made, the international image of the Japanese people will be severely damaged, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be canceled due to the abandonment of the international community.
Below is the Bitcoin address of the International Olympic Committee. We call on you to buy and donate digital money.
If you donate, you are eligible to buy a ticket for the Tokyo Olympics at a discount of 30%. After donating, please send your personal information to the mailbox below to register.
Of course, there is no discount and there is no Olympic Committee raising money via a Bitcoin address. User's in Japan should beware of anyone asking for Bitcoin and claiming to be from the Olympic Committee
In July of 2020, the real Cardano Foundation as well as BTCNEXT, a crypto exchange, sent out a public warning that a suspicious firm of unknown origin is accosting foundation members as well as customer of BTCNEXT, claiming to be involved with the two entities and seeking investment.
This organization does not actually have any ties with either BTCNEXT or the Cardano Foundation, and should therefore not be trusted.
Coinbase does not support Japanese customers as of September 2020.
There are no Bitcoin ATMs in Japan as of September 2020
The current price of Bitcoin in Japan is ¥1,134,702.60
While the inventor of Bitcoin is known as Satoshi Nakamoto, which is clearly a Japanese name, it is widely believed that this is a pseudonym. There is really no way of knowing then if Satoshi was actually japanese or not, and in fact there is good reason to believe he was British, based off of the way he spelled certain words and formatted documents.
According to skallex.io, Japanese Yen accounts for approximately 11% of global Bitcoin volume. This puts it in 3rd or 4th place depending on the day, as South Korean Won also accounts from roughly 11% of global volume as well.
While it is impossible to know how many or what percent of Japanese citizens own Bitcoin, one poll from Japanese magazine ShinR25 suggests that ~14% of Japanese men between the ages of 20 and 25 owned cryptocurrency in one form or another.
Because Bitcoin and crypto generally tends to skew towards young men, we can expect that the percentage of Japanese residents who own Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency to be at some rate lower than 14%.
According to Nikkei, Bitflyer has partnered with Bic Camera to start accepting Bitcoin at all of its small consumer electronics stores across Japan.
Coincheck has also partnered with Recruit Lifestyle’s AirRegi point-of-sale app used by thousands of stores across Japan to provide Bitcoin functionality to its system.
The best way to Cash out of Bitcoin in Japan is to use one of the exchanges listed on this page by creating an account and making a sell order.
Local Bitcoins is another option. Here, you can buy and sell Bitcoin for a wide range of payment methods, from gift cards to bank transfers. Local Bitcoins is a peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange, where you buy and sell with another individual. This does introduce a degree of risk, though by ensuring that you conduct all business on the platform, make use of its escrow services, and only trade with users who have a good reputation, you'll minimize any potential problems.
You could also use a service like eGifter to sell your Bitcoin for gift cards.