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Japanese crypto advocates are cheering Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency as blockchain’s “killer app,” second only to Bitcoin. | Source: REUTERS / Dado Ruvic

Facebook’s plans to launch a cryptocurrency are an indication that blockchain technology has come of age and is ready for prime time, especially in Japan.

According to the chairperson of the Japan Security Token Association, Go Masuda, Libra is blockchain’s second “killer app,” after Bitcoin:

“The industry lacked a good use case of blockchain technology. There have been no killer apps since bitcoin … the industry is now entering a new phase of commercial adoption.”

With Japan being one of the most progressive countries with regards to crypto, it is no surprise that Libra has been received more warmly there than in other parts of the world.

Libra crypto gets the love, or at least breathing space, in Japan

While major countries in Europe, such as France and Germany, have been vocal in their criticisms of Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Japanese authorities have been more measured in their response.

Roughly a month after Libra was announced, Japanese regulators set up a working group tasked with studying Facebook’s crypto rather than lashing out at the project from the onset, as has been the case elsewhere.

Facebook’s plans to launch a cryptocurrency also seem to have inspired Japan’s traditional financial sector to take advantage of the potential offered by blockchain technology, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Traditional financial services firms in the country have recently become involved in efforts to tokenize securities.

Japan’s two largest traditional brokerages, Nomura Securities and Daiwa Securities, have already teamed up to form a new association that will be responsible for setting the rules that guide the issuance of security tokens. Other members of this association include financial services firm Monex, online broker SBI Securities, and internet conglomerate Rakuten.

Japanese financial services firm seeking to friend FB

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Monex reportedly wants to join the Libra Association. | Source: Twitter

Concerning Facebook’s crypto efforts, Monex has already applied to join the Libra Association. Currently, there are 27 members, and if Monex is accepted, it will become one of the few foreign-based organizations in the US-centric group, joining the likes of the United Kingdom-based Vodafone and Sweden-based Spotify.

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Libra Association members are overwhelmingly US-based | Source: Libra.org

As a result of the developments in Japan as well as Facebook’s Libra efforts, the chairperson of the Japan Blockchain Association and CEO of Bitcoin exchange bitFlyer, Yuzo Kano, expressed hope that 2019 could turn out to be the year when the potential of blockchain technology is finally recognized:

“I hope 2019 marks the year when blockchain was finally recognized as a viable technology.”

This article was edited by Josiah Wilmoth.