Cryptocurrency-related inquiries filed by consumers shot up three times in Japan in 2017 as compared to data from the previous year, according to a report by the country’s Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA).
The agency released the data on April 27 at the second meeting of the cryptocurrency exchange study group hosted by Japan’s financial sector watchdog Financial Services Agency (FSA). The agenda for the meeting was to provide a glimpse of the country’s rising interest in cryptocurrency along with concerns related to it.
The data shows that most of the inquiries were regarding cryptocurrency trading and initial public offerings (ICO). The compilation of the data, which was acquired over a number of years, disclosed that a total of 2,769 domestic cryptocurrency-related inquiries were filed in 2017 alone compared to 847 of the same in 2016, 440 in 2015, and 186 in 2014. This clearly shows the Japanese society’s enthusiasm in the nascent sector.
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Moreover, according to the agency, most of the inquiries were related to security issues of trading platforms and the legitimacy of various ICOs. This makes sense considering the increasing number of hacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and various scams pulled off using fake ICOs all around the world.
Japan became the largest cryptocurrency market in the world following the Chinese government’s crackdown on the booming sector. According to various reports, the country currently hosts at least 3.5 million crypto traders.
The CAA’s data also pointed out interests and concerns about the crypto space among different age groups of Japanese citizens. The agency registered most of the inquiries from middle-aged consumers. Consumers in their 40s inquired 510 times followed by 488 cases from consumers in their 50s. The rest of the age groups were also not far behind as people in their 20s, 60s, and over-70s inquired 382, 410, and 310 times respectively.
A similar trend in Google
A quick look at Google trends shows that the Japanese people’s interest in the cryptomarket spiked in late 2017, which coincides with the boom in the market. However, there was a significant decrease in crypto-related searches in 2018.