November 30, 2023

Crypto ATMs – or BTMs in local parlance – are returning to Japan after a long hiatus of four years.

Local Cryptocurrency Exchange Gaia Co., Ltd was announced on August 2 that BTMs supporting Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) will soon be released.

Despite the fact that Bitcoin ATMs debuted in Tokyo as early as 2014, the country has not seen active digital asset ATMs since the crypto winter of 2018 that saw local exchange Coincheck hacked for $530 million, bringing the local sector and sparking interest in crypto ATMs.

Initially, the BTMs will be installed in locations across Tokyo and Osaka, but the company has outlined plans to set up 50 BTMs across the country within the next 12 months. The company said it hopes to increase the installed base to 130 BTM within the next three years.

BTMs will allow users to withdraw up to $747 (100,000 yen) per transaction, with a maximum withdrawal limit of $2,243 (300,000 yen) per day. Limited withdrawals are part of the anti-money laundering compliance measures.

BTM: Gaia Co., Ltd

According to August 3 report by local media outlet Mainichi Shimbun, the move by Gaia will mark the first time a locally registered crypto company will set up a crypto ATM in Japan.

To withdraw money from BTMs, users must register with the company to obtain a special card that gives them access to do so. Once approved, users can send crypto assets to BTM via smartphone and then withdraw the cash amount in yen.

BTMs will help speed up the current withdrawal process in the country, which often takes several days to transfer funds from an exchange to a local bank account, the Japanese outlet noted.

Is interest in cryptocurrencies resurging?

The Coincheck breach, along with the $500 million hack on crypto exchange Mt.Gox in 2014, ultimately led to the government choosing to take a hands-off approach, handing over oversight to the self-regulatory body, Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA). .

However, it appears the government has taken a renewed interest in helping the market prosper this year.

Related: Japan’s crypto groups call for an end to taxing paper profits

As previously reported in July, Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) gave JVCEA “stern warnings” to speed up the rollout of AML regulation.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida also called on the entity to speed up the lengthy vetting process for new digital asset listing applications from local exchanges.

Last month Cointelegraph reported that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) opened the landmark Web3 Policy Office in the Minister’s Secretariat. The newly formed entity will work to develop an innovative business environment for Web3 companies, alongside developing regulations to support the industry.