Like many of you I was jumping between crypto websites a while ago when I came across a curious article that claimed Japan regularly accounted for over 60% of market volumes.
Coinhills clearly showing JPY pairs accounting for the majority of the market.
Intrigued I decided to dig deeper and was perplexed that CoinMarketCap didn’t show any of the major Japanese exchanges volumes. Once I realised that these volumes were underrated I started monitoring Japanese crypto discussions to see what tokens they were most interested in and what topics were on their radar.
I’m compiling a full paid report but here are some tidbits to share before that’s ready. If you’re interested you can sign up to the mailing list now and receive exclusive access to the raw token data.
🗻 The Iceberg
Looking directly at the volumes most of the discrepancy seems to come from the exclusion of Bitflyer’s trading platform and leveraged FX exchange. Bitflyer is apparently the largest exchange in Japan so this adds up to a huge amount of volume. How much exactly?
bitFlyer volumes on CMC
bitFlyer volumes according to bitFlyer
Converting the BTC values to dollars gives us:
- bitFlyer… $2,160,000,000 (=270,000BTC)
- CMC……….$148,900,000 (=18,600BTC)
Yup, that’s a 10x difference!
Clearly, CMC are only taking the volume of BTCJPY traded on Bitflyer’s main site and missing the volume on Bitflyer Lightning. It’s a bit like only getting volume data from Coinbase and not GDAX.
Granted, there’s a valid reason that CMC do this — with 0 trading fees it’s hard to tell how much is legitimate volume on the exchange. Either way, the truth is most likely that Japanese volumes are larger than they seem on the surface.
All of a sudden it made sense. I’m in Japan every month or so to see family and the number of cryptocurrency advertisements is insane. Since it’s legalised and regulated by the FSA, exchanges have immense advertising power and regularly use local celebrities in their campaigns. Of course Japan is big on cryptos.
Realising this I started to actively monitor Japanese crypto discussions around the web. In particular I found the old 2ch had a very active community discussing cryptos. After monitoring over 700 active cryptocurrency discussions daily over the last two weeks I have some results to share!
Most discussed Tokens
- BTC / Bitcoin
- ETH / Ethereum
- XRP / Ripple
- ADA / Cardano
- XEM / NEM
- NEO / NEO
- PAC / PACCoin
- EOS / EOS
- LTC / Litecoin
- USDT / Tether
As expected, ADA and NEM are way up there. Surprisingly MONA, which is well known for being popular in Japan didn’t make top 10 — it’s up there, but just not as high as expected. USDT seems to be discussed a lot too.
Most interesting is seeing how high PAC is on that list, garnering more discussion than EOS and LTC. Having taken a closer look it seems like the supply of the coin was increased by 100x which cause it to be shown as the no.3 token on CMC for a while. When this happened it garnered a lot of discussions — mostly negative comments calling it a scam.
There were a bunch of other interesting tokens that were gathering interest over the time I monitored these discussions. Most of them seem centred around news activity but it will be interesting to see how this stacks up again the West.
Other select insights
As part of this analysis, I also monitored mentions of other key words relevant to the crypto space. Here are some select data points which I found interesting.
- 1.59 buy/sell sentiment ratio
- Binance is the most discussed exchange, of all the exchanges tracked
- They have at least 4 different ways to say shitcoin!
- Like the Western world, they have a lot of spams and shills
- Twitter is one of the biggest social mediums
- They very actively monitor new listings. This explains the interest in exchanges such as Binance that have a tonne of alts to trade
- On the downside, they are most concerned about scams compared to other risks
- G20 is one of the most discussed recent news topics. Speaks to me that they’re generally clued into global trends too, not just looking internally
- They are virtually unaware of, or at least don’t discuss most of the influencers in the West such as Charlie Lee, Roger Ver, and a host of YouTubers. They do, of course, have their own set of influencers.
Japanese crypto traders clearly account for a huge chunk of the market, especially since they’re so active on Western exchanges too, implying that their impact isn’t limited to JPY pairs. Clearly there are insights that can be gathered from analysing these discussions and it seems like an informational disadvantage to miss over 60% of the market chatter.
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