The latest development to come out of the crypto-friendly nation is from the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) who will soon enable Japanese commuters and tourists alike to pay for their journeys with a variety of cryptocurrencies and stablecoins.
If you’ve visited Japan, chances are you’ve found yourself on a train operated by one of the companies in the Japan Railways Group (JR Group). JR East is the largest company in the JR Group, and currently operates a number of regional and high-speed Shinkansen lines that together boast a ridership of over 6 billion passengers per year. In other words, JR East is a pretty big deal.
So, here’s the story. JR East is supposedly working with Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ), one of the country’s largest network service providers, to “enable customers to pay in cryptocurrencies with their Suica smartcard” with crypto to fiat liquidity provided by DeCurret, a Japan-based exchange that was recently cleared for operation by the JFSA.
Suica is a prepaid cash card that can be used at train stations, restaurants, convenience stores, and more. Millions of people in Japan use Suica cards on a daily basis, and it’s very much apart of daily life – especially in Tokyo. I was out all day today, and the only form of payment I used was my Suica card.