Is Japan the future or is it a few years behind ── What a US CoinDesk reporter felt at “IVS2023 KYOTO” | CoinDesk JAPAN


If you do a little research on the Japanese Internet situation, you’ll notice that it looks a little old-fashioned.

Much more is possible online in Japan than in the West, but with a few notable exceptions, and overall the Japanese Internet landscape feels a decade old. It seems to be the web at the time when the iPhone4 (released in Japan in 2010) was released.

“The government feels that Japan has completely lagged behind Web2 (…) So now the government sees Web3 as a potential new generation of technology companies in this field that Japan can actively leverage. I see it as something that has the potential to create people with a vision,” said Akio Tanaka, founding partner of IVC, who held “IVS2023” and “IVS Crypto 2023” in Kyoto last week. .

“No big Web2 company has emerged from Japan.”

Much has been said about the success of Japanese regulation in the early days of Web3. Unlike the United States, which is openly hostile to the Web3 industry, Japan seems to be more open to Web3 and has been working to regulate it. Regulations in Japan arose from the 2013 bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, which caused many victims. And as a result, Japan did not suffer much damage even after the collapse of FTX.

Web3 event in Japan

So what does a Web3 event in Japan look like?

Much like the height of the bull market in the US and Europe.

NFT and GameFi are big players, and oddly enough, enterprise blockchain is also getting a lot of attention. Several large Japanese companies have announced their Web3 strategy, and a lot of money is being put into it. But such strategies are still vague (e.g., “carbon credit trading” or “medical record”) and are a painting.

Tanaka emphasized that the situation is different in Japan.

For example, Japanese GameFi developers “want to serve gamers, not cryptocurrency speculators,” Tanaka said.

“GamiFi developers probably won’t try to make something as speculative as you see outside of Japan because it could backfire and negatively affect core game fans.”

Sega knows this all too well. When we announced our entry into NFT, we received a strong backlash from Saehwan, and we revised our stance, stating, “If Web3’s entry is perceived as simply making money, we will decide not to proceed (with the entry plan).”

Same with Square Enix. While the stock market welcomed the decision to NFT the characters from Final Fantasy VII, one of the series’ greatest masterpieces with a long history, fans hated it.

After all, Square Enix’s NFTs aren’t speculative. This is because users cannot resell purchased NFTs.

Are you really conservative?

As for embracing Web3, I can’t help thinking that Japan is actually a bit more conservative than what the bulls are saying.

The event was full of discussions about GameFi and NFT. However, Japan’s most prominent IP (intellectual property) holders have kept their distance from GameFi and NFTs. Nintendo was looking to hire an NFT and metaverse expert in March, but nothing has materialized. Tanaka said that if Nintendo does anything, it will take time.

Even Prime Minister Kishida’s speech that graced the opening of the event didn’t mention the term Web3, instead using general phrases about the importance of startups in economic growth and the government’s plans to make Japan a startup-friendly market. It was nothing more than an arrangement.

But there is something, even if it is not what the evangelists talk about.

Towards the end of Tanaka’s interview, the Sega troupe, who had scheduled their next meeting with Tanaka, arrived early.

Sega recently made headlines by denying rumors that Microsoft was planning an acquisition. An IVC spokeswoman declined to comment on the meeting. But perhaps crypto is involved.

|Translation: CoinDesk JAPAN
|Editing: Takayuki Masuda
| Image: CoinDesk
|Original: First Mover Asia: Bitcoin Maintains $30K as Prospective Issuers Refile ETF Applications

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