Japan Turns To BitGirls To Promote Bitcoin


Japan and Bitcoin have had a rocky history. This mostly stems from the fact that it is the country that hosted the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox. So when it was hacked and had a large chunk of its Bitcoin stash stolen, it was big news in the national scene. This has led to a lot of problems for the cryptocurrency scene as Japanese lawmakers quickly moved to regulate the industry. But BitGirls are here to save the day.

Overcoming the stigma

Even with the Mt. Gox scandal two years in the past, the Japanese public is still wary about using Bitcoin and other digital currencies. In addition to the bad reputation that cryptocurrencies have developed in the market, the technology itself is finding a hard time to enter the mainstream in Japan. With its mostly conservative outlook, Japanese society does not do well with disruptive technologies like Bitcoin.

Fortunately, there are some sectors that appreciate the effectiveness of Bitcoin as a transaction medium. Last April, over 34 companies including Microsoft Japan formed the country’s first Bitcoin trade association. Local Bitcoin startups have also welcomed the Bitcoin regulation so as to fight the stigma that Bitcoin is mostly used for shady purposes and is untrustworthy. It is an uphill battle, though.

Cute girls doing cute things

However, Osaka-based cryptocurrency exchange platform Zaif Exchange has hit upon a uniquely Japanese solution. With the country’s idol industry being a major part of the cultural landscape, the industry brings in millions in revenue from cute girls doing cute things. They are also a very visible part of the mainstream. Zaif’s idea is to leverage that popularity to attract people into using altcoins and Bitcoin in Japan.

This comes in the form of a TV show: BitGirls. This is a new reality program that will start on Oct. 2 that will be featuring 10 young and pretty women. Each of these women will be contestants performing on the show, each wearing a variety of costumes and showing off their different talents like balloon art, car racing and plastic model-building.

On the show, each girl will represent a cryptocurrency. The viewers can support their favorite girl by purchasing her personal tokens. These are known as “Torekabu,” which is a mix of the Japanese words “Toreka” (trading cards) and “Kabu” (stocks and shares). This is equal to the popular voting found in many reality shows like The X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. The more people buy those tokens, the more the girl is featured. The show will illustrate how cryptocurrencies work via its use of its decentralized blockchain to keep track of votes and introduce people on how to start making transactions in them. It is hoped that the combination of cute girls, cutting-edge technology, and reality television will convince people that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not so bad.