Austin Tuwiner • April 22nd, 2019

How to Buy Bitcoin In Japan

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Buy Bitcoin in Japan


You’ve heard about Bitcoin everywhere, and want to learn how to purchase Bitcoin in Japan.


There are so many options to pick from, you don’t know which one to use.

This is where Bitpremier comes in.

After researching every option available, we’ve assembled a guide that allows you to make an educated decision.


Coinmama Review

Coinmama is a cryptocurrency brokerage that allows users to purchase Bitcoin (and other cryptos) in exchange for fiat currency. In addition to Japan, Coinmama serves nearly every country around the world.

One important thing to note about Coinmama is that they do not allow users to store cryptocurrency on the exchange. Upon purchase, users are prompted for an address to send the purchased crypto to.

Coinmama specializes in credit and debit card transactions and charges 6% fees on purchases. The exchange also features very high limits for cards and depends on your level of verification.

But don’t worry, as Bitpremier has several guides on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets.

Visit Coinmama


Gemini is an American based exchange that has expanded to several countries including Japan. Owned by the Winklevoss twins, Gemini allows anyone to purchase Bitcoin and a few other cryptocurrencies with a bank account transfer.

Gemini features fairly high limits, with some of the best trading fees out there. Gemini features several methods of executing orders, such as market orders, make or cancels, and auctions.

Visit Gemini


kraken exchange review

Kraken is another popular US Based exchange that also services Japan. Similarly to Gemini, the exchange features bank transfers as a payment method.

The exchange features fiat trading pairs as well as crypto to crypto pairings offering a large amount of flexibility. Kraken’s fees are low (sub 1%), and depend on 30-day trading volume and if you are a maker or a taker on the order.

Kraken also has fairly high limits similar to other bank transfer exchanges making it a great choice for those purchasing in bulk.

Visit Kraken


LocalBitcoins has been around for a while and is a much different type of exchange than you might be used to. On LocalBitcoins, you are transacting with another person, using the exchange as an escrow service.

LocalBitcoins is very popular around the world, including in Japan. For their services, LocalBitcoins charges a 1% fee. Keep in mind when transaction with a vendor, they may have premiums on Bitcoin’s price.

Visit LocalBitcoins


coincheck review

Founded in 2014, Coincheck is the first Japanese based exchange mentioned in this guide and allows users to purchase Bitcoin with a bank transfer or card. The exchanges smooth user interface makes it simple for users to purchase cryptocurrency.

The exchange appears to be offering a 0% trading fee promotion that has been lasting for a while now.

Visit Coincheck



Bitflyer is another Japenese based cryptocurrency exchange that allows you to purchase Bitcoin with fiat currency in Japan. According to the website, the exchange actually features the most trading volume out of Japan, which offers great liquidity.

Bitflyer has relatively low fees and offers buying limits that scale off of account level. This exact information doesn’t seem to be public and can be found by contact Bitflyer support.

Visit Bitflyer

Bitcoin ATM’s

Bitcoin ATMs are a lesser-used method of obtaining but certainly viable. They offer unrivaled levels of security, although typically have around 10% fees associated with them. If privacy is a huge deal to you, this could be a great option.

In order to find a Bitcoin ATM near you, we recommend checking out Coinradar.


Bitfinex Final

Bitfinex is one of the worlds best-known cryptocurrency exchanges. It offers an enormous selection of cryptocurrencies, high trading volume, and great levels of security.

The exchange also offers several trading pairs allowing you to trade against fiat and other cryptos. Their fee schedule varies off the users trading volume but is very competitive with the other options brought up in this guide.

Bitcoin in Japan

Japan is one of the most progressive countries in the world, and while other states are coming down hard on cryptocurrencies and digital assets, Japan is leading the cryptocurrency market in terms of almost everything you can think of, transaction frequency and volume, ICOs, blockchain startups, and positive regulations.

In this guide, you would learn everything you need to know about Bitcoin pertaining to Japan.

Is Bitcoin Legal in Japan?

Bitcoin couldn’t be more legal anywhere else. Japan has one of the most positive and welcoming climates for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and it is no coincidence that it leads many other countries in blockchain startups.

The anonymous founder of Bitcoin—Satoshi Nakamoto—sports a Japanese name, which suggests Japanese roots, but the embracing nature of Japan towards cryptocurrencies goes far beyond sharing filial roots with a mysterious founder.

In April 2017, the Japanese government released a directive that listed Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a legal property that is listed on the Payment Service Act.

There are only very few countries where virtual currencies are recognized legally.

Cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are also very well legal, unlike in neighboring China. All cryptocurrency exchanges are required to be registered with Japans’s Financial Service Authority (FSA) and are treated as financial institutions in the country.

Japan is known as an advanced technological hub all over the world, with great companies such as Sony and JVC all indigenous companies for years on now.

Thus, many of its leaders at governmental positions have worked with technological companies and giant tech institutions one way or the other over time, opening the door to any technological advancement.

It is no surprise that Tokyo is widely regarded as the perfect example of a high-tech future, given its common six-story electronic stores, automation, robots and ‘electronic-nights.’

Japan has probably the biggest market in cryptocurrencies in the world, a feat that would not be possible at all without the help of the government and positive reception from important stakeholders.

It’s the simplest question to answer really; Bitcoin is as legal as the Yen in Japan.

What is the Japenese Government’s Stance on Bitcoin?

This would be the briefest of answers really. The Japanese government is proactive towards Bitcoin and the development of cryptocurrencies moving forward.

Considering Japan has suffered the most devastating attacks in crypto history, it is applaudable that the Japanese government have found ways to improve security and reliance rather down outrightly banning the industry altogether.

It is important to note however that privacy coins are completely outlawed and banned in Japan. Coins such as Zcash and Monero are not even listed on any of the Japanese exchanges, a fact that could be a little disturbing on the first realization.

If the world is truly embracing modern democracy, then privacy coins shouldn’t be a problem. However given the rampant issue of money laundering and fraud scams that have been successfully carried out in Japan due to privacy coins, one would see the need for an effective solution.

Except of course cryptocurrency exchanges can come up with a secure and legal way to allow trades with privacy coins. Bitcoin, on the other hand, has the government’s full blessing.

Is it Safe to Trade or Buy Bitcoin in Japan?

Japan has suffered some of the most high profile of attacks in the crypto space, and the earliest too.  The Mt. Gox exchange was the first and biggest exchange as at 2012 and was handling millions of the world’s Bitcoin transactions.

By getting involved even when Bitcoin had little value, Mt Gox grew very quickly to be the major exchange in the world, and its successful hack shocked and took the crypto community by surprise.

On closer inspection, however, no one should have been shocked and Mt. Gox had had it coming for a long while. Formerly, a game hub, its conversion to an exchange handling millions of transactions ensured it grew big with ever-increasing security loopholes.

After Mt Gox hack, 6 percent of the world’s total Bitcoins went completely missing, and not only Japan was hit with devastating news, the whole world was.

It wouldn’t end there though. As a matter of fact, after Mt Gox, Japan had lost close to a billion-dollar worth of coins. Coincheck which lost $530 million last year was the highest profiled since Gox.

With all these losses, is it safe to buy and store your cryptocurrencies in Japan exchanges? It never probably is a hundred percent, it is much safer to store your coins in personal and cold wallets.

The recent strict regulations imposed by the FSA to tighten cybersecurity could be an excellent stroke to tighten security shortly, and with growing involvement by Japan regulatory bodies, the cryptocurrency industry is only getting safer by the day.

Should I Trade Cryptocurrency?

There’s certainly potential in trading but this all depends on your past experience. Making money online is nice, but there’s typically some risk to it.


And there you have it! A complete guide of Bitcoin in Japan and the history of Bitcoin in the country. Depending on your preferred payment method, certain exchanges will be better than others.

Austin Tuwiner Administrator
Austin is the owner of Bitpremier, and got involved in Bitcoin in 2012. After working as a cryptocurrency journalist and and at several blockchain startups, he decided to start Bitpremier and educate the world on Bitcoin.
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