In BriefJapan now accounts for roughly half of the global bitcoin exchange market. The country's share surged over the weekend in response to new Chinese legislation that forces the nation's crypto exchanges to halt operations over the next several weeks.
Japan has risen above the U.S. in the worldwide rankings for the largest bitcoin exchange market. The country now accounts for roughly 48 percent of the global market share, reaching a high of 51 percent over the weekend.
This is thanks in no small part to the Chinese government’s recent rulings on the cryptocurrency. The nation first issued a ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs) and then requested that exchanges and trading platforms cease operations by the end of September, granting an extension until October 30 for OKCoin and Huobi.
— Joseph Young (@iamjosephyoung) September 17, 2017
Those deadlines are still weeks away, but traders aren’t waiting around. Many that were previously operating in China have taking their activity to Japan, causing the spike in the nation’s market share — and reducing China’s from 15 percent to less than seven percent in just three days.
It remains to be seen whether Japan’s current position will hold or is a fleeting surge. One Chinese official has claimed that the country’s ban on ICOs is a temporary measure, but the country’s position in the cryptocurrency market might be forever changed if the current situation drags on too long.
Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.