Exploring Crypto Investment in Japan: Decoding Japanese Investor Attitude to Digital Assets

2023/07/27 04:50:29

After covering Germany and France in our previous issues, KuCoin is delighted to turn eastward and bring you insights from one of the most technologically progressive and crypto-loving markets in Asia - Japan.

The 13th in our ‘Into the Cryptoverse’ series, this report is based on a comprehensive survey of the state of Japan’s crypto market and investor habits. We delve into various aspects, such as investment preferences, trading frequency, popular crypto assets in the Japanese market, and the sources Japanese crypto investors rely on for educating themselves when making trading decisions.

The crypto market in Japan continues to be one of the strongest performers in Asia, and this report further bolsters its role in shaping the future of crypto adoption. Read on to learn about emerging trends showcasing how Japan establishes a more robust and inclusive crypto ecosystem.

Key Highlights: An Overview of the State of Crypto Investing in Japan

KuCoin’s latest report on Japan’s crypto market and investors is based on an extensive online survey of 400 adult crypto investors conducted in May 2023. Here are some interesting insights from this survey:

  1. Around 3.8 million crypto investors in Japan, about 5% of Japan’s adult population, own or have invested in crypto assets in the past six months.
  2. 39% of young crypto investors aged between 18 and 30 years have invested more than ¥10,000 in cryptos.
  3. 39% of Japanese investors have turned to cryptos to diversify their portfolios.
  4. 49% of young crypto investors between 18 and 30 years trade cryptos multiple times weekly.
  5. While Bitcoin and Ethereum remain the top preferred crypto assets for Japanese investors, there is considerable interest in diversifying into multiple sectors, such as NFT, metaverse, stablecoins, public chains, DeFi, and meme coins.

A Look at Japan’s Crypto Investor Profile and Investment Experience

Our previous surveys of other key markets have revealed a gender disparity, indicating higher interest in crypto investing among males. However, nowhere else is this as glaring as in the Japanese market, where 80% of investors are males and only 20% consists of female investors.

Unlike several other markets, most of the crypto investors in Japan are aged over 30 years, accounting for 77%. On the other hand, the younger generation aged between 18 and 30 accounts for only 23% of Japan’s crypto investors.

Like the age profile, the KuCoin survey indicates a higher maturity level in crypto adoption. While 27% of investors surveyed have invested in cryptos for over three years, 33% have been active in the crypto market for 1-2 years. In contrast, only 9% of respondents started their crypto journey less than three months ago.

Crypto investing is also more common among households with lower incomes, with 44% of investors earning a household income of up to ¥5 million annually. However, only 21% of crypto investors in Japan earned over ¥10 million annually.

Motivations: Why Are Japanese Investors Interested in Crypto?

Japan’s technology-forward attitude reflects strongly in our survey findings that show how 44% of investors across age groups invest in crypto to be part of the future. The largest group in this category consists of investors aged between 18 and 30 years who have invested in crypto as they believe in its cutting-edge technology and potential for financial innovation.

Other top reasons Japanese investors have turned to crypto include wealth accumulation in the long run (40%) and diversification of investment risks and portfolios (38%). While 28% of investors are involved in cryptos because they consider it fun, 26% believe it could enable overnight riches. Only 21% of Japanese crypto investors consider crypto assets a store of value against inflation.

How Often Do Japan’s Crypto Investors Trade the Markets?

Regarding trading frequency, we have observed a strong correlation with age. Younger investors in the 18-30 age group are most active, trading the crypto market several times a week. On the other end of the spectrum, the 40-60 age group of users prefer to trade cryptos as infrequently as less than once a month.

Participants in the 31-39 age group have a more balanced approach regarding crypto trading frequency. While 35% of this age group trade cryptos multiple times a week, 29% trade around once a week, and 15% are active in the market several times a month.

Most Popular Cryptos Among Japanese Investors

As in most other key markets we’ve surveyed in the past, Bitcoin and Ethereum take the lead among Japanese crypto investor portfolios, cutting across age groups. 70% of all investors surveyed were interested in owning Bitcoin, followed by 35% for Ethereum. Investors between 40 and 60 years were most interested in these cryptos, with 80% indicating interest in Bitcoin and 43% interested in Ethereum.

Other popular categories Japanese investors prefer include NFT (27%), metaverse (24%), stablecoins (16%), and public chain projects (15%). GameFi (11%), DeFi (8%), and meme coins (8%) also featured among the most popular crypto investments for Japanese users.

Where Do Japan’s Users Learn About Crypto Investing?

When learning about cryptos, most investors in Japan turn to social media influencers for enlightenment. This trend was especially strong among the younger generations, with 41% of 18-30-year-old investors relying on influencers to learn about crypto investments.

The most popular social media sources to learn about crypto ranked by trust include YouTube (32%), Twitter (23%), Line (15%), Instagram (13%), and TikTok (9%). Surprisingly, the more technical social networks such as Discord, Telegram, and Reddit were relatively less trusted sources for gaining knowledge about crypto investments in Japan.

Closing Thoughts

While there is considerable gender disparity in crypto investing in Japan, it’s heartening to see the younger generation aged 18-30 attempting to close this gap, contributing more female crypto investors. This age group also invests the most in cryptos, above ¥10,000. While crypto investors in Japan are more mature than in most other parts of the world regarding age and experience, these key findings also indicate strong interest in the digital asset market among younger crypto investors.

Through surveys like this, we at KuCoin endeavor to offer a better understanding of trends in adoption and interest among investors toward crypto assets. As a top five global cryptocurrency exchange, such data could provide crypto investors, other businesses in this sector, and the overall industry much-needed insights about the crypto community in key markets. The improved understanding could generate higher interest and adoption of crypto as an investment class among investors across all age groups.

Read the full report here: Into the Cryptoverse: Understanding Crypto Users in Japan.

Further Reading

  1. Crypto Adoption in 2023: Diving Into the Crypto Investing Landscape
  2. KuCoin’s Into the Cryptoverse Report Reveals German Users’ Love For Versatile Crypto Projects
  3. KuCoin’s Into The Cryptoverse Report Reveals 27% of US Adults Invested in Cryptocurrencies
  4. KuCoin's Into the Cryptoverse Report 2023 Uncovers Young Pakistani Crypto Investors Driving Market Expansion
  5. AI & Blockchain Tango: KuCoin’s Survey Explores the Cryptoverse’s Latest Power Couple

About KuCoin

Launched in September 2017, KuCoin is a global cryptocurrency exchange with its operational headquarters in Seychelles. As a user-oriented platform focused on inclusiveness and community action reach, it offers over 700 digital assets. It provides spot trading, margin trading, P2P fiat trading, futures trading, staking, and lending to its 27 million users in 207 countries and regions.

In 2022, KuCoin raised over $150 million in investments through a pre-Series B round, bringing total investments to $170 million with Round A combined, at a total valuation of $10 billion. KuCoin is currently one of the top 5 crypto exchanges according to CoinMarketCap. Forbes also named KuCoin one of the Best Crypto Exchanges in 2023. In 2022, The Ascent named KuCoin the Best Crypto App for enthusiasts.