Tech Bureau Inc. Raises $835,000, Launches Major Bitcoin Exchange in Japan
Zaif Is Now Poised to Become a Leading Crypto Currency Exchange in Japan
OSAKA, Japan, March 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Backed by $835,000 in funding from Nippon Technology Venture Partners (NTVP), Tech Bureau Inc. today added a Bitcoin exchange to its crypto currency lineup called Zaif. (http://zaif.jp/) Already the world's largest Monacoin exchange, Zaif now has the potential to become the largest crypto currency exchange in Japan.
"Crypto currencies are the key to a worldwide financial revolution that is taking place right now," said Kazutaka Muraguchi, general partner of NTVP. "Tech Bureau could become the hub that connects Japan to the global crypto currency market."
When compared with other countries, Japan has been slow to adopt crypto currencies such as Bitcoin. Tech Bureau's CEO, Takao Asayama, intends to change this with Zaif's expanded services. Zaif now allows people to trade the Japanese yen, Bitcoin, and Monacoin, which is Japan's largest crypto currency. "In Japan, no one talks about Bitcoin 2.0, and people have little interest in owning bitcoins themselves," said Asayama. "Unfortunately, the first newsworthy event related to Bitcoin in Japan was the collapse of Mt. Gox, which has fueled a lot of negative coverage in the media."
Until public perception of Bitcoin changes, Tech Bureau plans to leverage notable local crypto currencies such as Monacoin in an effort to ultimately accelerate Bitcoin adoption in Japan. "By providing the most user-friendly crypto currency exchange on the market, we are creating an environment that encourages Japanese people to increasingly rely on crypto currencies in the future," said Asayama.
Monacoin's recent trading activity shows promising signs for crypto currencies in Japan. Since Jan. 2015, Monacoin's market cap has increased 750 percent, reaching a value of around $2.5 million. According to Asayama, it's reminiscent of what happened with Bitcoin in 2011 and 2012. Tech Bureau's ultimate goal, however, is to use any boom in local crypto currencies to steer Japan toward more widespread acceptance of Bitcoin. By doing so, Asayama hopes to turn Zaif into the country's largest Bitcoin exchange and align Japan with the worldwide trend toward Bitcoin usage.
There are currently less than 100 retailers that accept bitcoins in Japan. "Although we have several Bitcoin payment processors here, there are no real incentives for retailers to accept bitcoins," said Asayama. "Before we get more retailers on board, we first need to increase the number of Japanese people who are willing to own and use Bitcoin."
About Tech Bureau Inc. and Zaif Exchange
In July 2014, Tech Bureau launched a Bitcoin wallet called Zaif. Although it was intended to be an experimental project, Zaif wallet gained 2,000 users in the first 48 hours and 1,500 additional users by the end of the first month.
After acquiring Japan's first Bitcoin exchange, Etwings, Tech Bureau made significant improvements and relaunched the service as part of the Zaif exchange on March 5, 2015. To spur quick growth, the company has waived trading fees for the time being. Tech Bureau plans to launch an English version of its service very soon.
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SOURCE Tech Bureau, Inc.