Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in Japan

Non-fungible tokens in the art, gaming and sporting sectors are rapidly gaining popularity worldwide, and consequently NFTs in Japan are receiving significant attention and development.

Non-fungible tokens are one-of-a-kind digital assets that establish an item’s ownership and origin. They act as digital certificates.

When creating an NFT token, the creator can create a single copy or numerous copies. In this way, they can maintain control over ticket scarcity and, to a degree, the appeal of high-value tickets.

Around April 2021, NFT markets started to appear in Japan, and many companies have announced NFT-related businesses in collectables, sports and blockchain games. NFT businesses in Japan are expected to continue to grow.

High growth potential for NFTs in Japan

Even though the adoption of non-fungible tokens is expected to increase in the coming years, many people around the world are still unaware of what NFTs are.

In September 2021 over 28,000 people from 20 nations were polled and 90% of Japanese adults had no idea what an NFT was in the latest Finder online survey though some of them are very enthusiastic about NFTs in Japan. Japan had the largest percentage of lack of understanding in the world, so there is a lot of growth potential for NFTs in Japan.

Blockchain Games

Traditionally, items purchased in a game could only be used within the game and not be transferred to other players. This has changed with blockchain games, where game items are represented by NFTs. By allowing players to control the NFTs, they become able to buy, sell, exchange, and lend items represented by NFTs to other players.

Popular blockchain games on the Japanese market include My Crypto Heroes, Crypto Spells, and Contract Servant.

Crypto Art

In Japan, several crypto art related services have been launched more recently. The major platforms are nanakusa, NFT Studio, and Token Link.

NFT Market

In March 2021, Coincheck, the operator of one of the largest crypto exchanges in Japan, launched an NFT market. Currently, the only NFTs listed on the market are from Crypto Spells and The Sandbox.

While Coincheck’s NFT market is the first of its kind in Japan, other major companies, including Mercari, LINE and GMO Internet group have announced that they are considering launching their own NFT market.

The Japan Cryptoasset Business Association (JCBA) published a guideline to encourage member companies to enter businesses related to non-fungible tokens (NFT). It aims to serve a secure environment for users by proper and smooth operation of NFT-related services by member companies. It also helps to develop a sound market and expand a wider range of product and service options.

Moreover, since the NFT is expected to spread to various fields regardless of industries in the future, the JCBA will continue to actively engage in cross-frontier discussions with related organizations and government agencies. In addition to sharing awareness and deepening understanding of NFTs, JBCA plans to review the guideline as needed in response to changes in the industry and market.