In light of all the negative press the crypto-currency Bitcoin is getting these days, it seems that there are still some people who are enthusiastic about it. Motonori Kan, a 49-year-old Japanese entrepreneur is one of them, as he plans to send his summer driving around in a camper that has installed what would probably be Japan’s first bitcoin ATM. Kan and his elder brother Yoshinori plan to drive the cash-filled RV to different locations and helping promote Bitcoin as a legit currency.
We’ve been hearing for a while now that these Bitcoin ATMs – made by US-based company Robocoin – were coming to Japan, and it looks like Kan and his brother might be the first guys to operate one in the country, if they get around to figuring out how the machine works. “We have never touched the unit, so we do not know all the details,” Kan said, alluding to the machine that they will soon have in their possession. “Our working knowledge is only via literature from Robocoin and YouTube videos. When the unit arrives, we will study it thoroughly, and quickly!” Kan concluded.
Ordinarily, bank-owned ATM machines are registered with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). But since bitcoin isn’t really a currency (really), it means that the FSA isn’t in charge of the virtual currency and all services related to it, including an exchange or trading service like Kan’s bitcoin ATM. After consulting with his lawyer, Kan had already obtained a license as a used-goods dealer and imported the ATM to use practically as a vending machine.
The spectacular collapse of Tokyo-based bitcoin trading company MtGox has dented the supposed momentum that bitcoin was generating to becoming a legit currency. But Kan believes that the potential for bitcoin is just too big to ignore. “As a trading company, we are also always searching interesting items to import to Japan,” he said, and he considers dealing in bitcoin through his mobile ATM is going to make him part of “one of the biggest inventions in history.” Kan plans to make his company the main distributor of Robocoin ATMs in Japan. “Where we will be placing our Robocoin is completely up to who we can find as a partner,” said Kan, who has already ordered two additional Robocoin ATMs.
[via Wall Street Journal]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan