The interest of Japanese retail investors towards Bitcoin can be explained by low interest rates for savings accounts coupled with mistrust of Japanese people towards their state pension programme.
Asian Bitcoin exchanges mark an interest of Japanese retail investors towards Bitcoin that only grew during the last two weeks. According to them, the group of Japanese investors known as “Mrs Watanabe” pays special attention to the cryptocurrency. This group is traditionally associated with housewives (the surname “Watanabe” is one of the most widespread in Japan). According to analytics, such a keen interest can be explained by the discontent of the citizens towards low savings rates. Rates proposed by biggest Japanese banks are near-zero. For instance, Mizuho Bank and MUFG offer a 0.001% interest rate on savings accounts, Nomura Bank – not more than 0.02%. By contrast, Bitcoin profitability is seen by the Japanese as a huge advantage, experts suggest. As the second reason for the growing interest towards BTC experts name the lack of trust for pension payment guarantees. Japan is known as the land of long-livers – the medium life span is Japan is 83.7 years. The significant number of retired people suggests a huge burden on the pension investment fund. The trust in the guaranteed pension payment is diminishing in Japan – in the first quarter of 2016 the Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF) suffered a loss of $51,8 billion. The growing interest of retail investment into BTC is possible due to the Asian culture of retail investments in general – the numbers of investment are huge as to stock and futures markets. That is partly the reason for the intensity of the trading sessions on Asian crypto exchanges of China, Japan and South Korea. Bitcoin rose more than 60% in May 2017 alone – in the beginning of the month the rate was equal $1400 per 1 BTC but in the beginning of June the price of Bitcoin was around $2300.