Japan has a reputation for being on the cutting edge of technological development and for that reason its not a huge surprise that the country is set to get their first Bitcoin ATM. Import company Raimu has ordered and received what will be Japan’s first Bitcoin ATM and they plan to install it in Suzuka City, home to the country’s Grand Prix race course.
Raimu CEO Motonori Kan points to the growing popularity of Bitcoin internationally and says his company is planning to order two more ATMs later this year. The machine that Raimu purchased is a US manufactured Robocoin unit which Kan says was chosen due to its high security standards. He realizes that even in a country full of ‘early adopters’ that the acceptance of Bitcoin will take some time:
“It’s going to be an educational process. People know about Robocoin and it has the highest security features, and features required by governments around the world regarding money-laundering restrictions.” Raimu has a very eclectic product mix but this will be the company’s first Bitcoin related venture. Among other things, the company has dealt in PC peripherals, camping gear and dog treats. Kan suggests that Bitcoin could eventually be huge in Japan, and that once it makes its way to Tokyo his company could process in excess of $1 million US in Bitcoin transactions. He considers the move part of his company’s commitment to bring cutting edge imports to Japan:
“As a trading company, we are also always searching interesting items to import to Japan. This allows us to be a part of one of the biggest inventions in history.” The first ever Bitcoin ATM–also a Roboc was opened in late 2013 in Vancouver, BC at the Waves Coffee Shop. Since then a number of other countries have experimented with Bitcoin ATMs in some form or another including UK, Switzerland, China, Singapore, the United States and New Zealand. Widespread acceptance in Japan could significantly jump start the mainstreaming of Bitcoin. Despite their reputation for technological innovation, Japan has never been on the leading edge of adopting new payment systems. Bitcoin could change that.