Why Japan Fell in Love with Monacoin, the Cat Meme Cryptocurrency

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Never mind the cute Shiba Inu of dogecoin, people in Japan are falling for a new Internet meme-based cryptocurrency - the locally invented and cat-logoed 'monacoin'.

At least five online and physical stores, plus an auction site, now accept monacoin for payments and the currency is traded on five exchanges: three in Japan, China's ybex.

A monacoin tipping system, developed by a 17-year-old high school student, is also active.

"A few early adopters of cryptocurrencies recognized it at an early time. But almost all monacoin information is on Japanese websites and in Japanese. So monacoin was more accepted by other Japanese."

Hida uses monacoin and, as well as his bitcoin advocacy activities, he and some friends formed the Monacoin Foundation.

Unlike the equally publicity-shy Satoshi Nakamoto monacoin users are almost certain that Mr. Watanabe is Japanese.

Just as games like Final Fantasy XIV and DragonQuest had their own proprietary currencies, monacoin would be the same.

Monacoin is not supposed to be similar to securities, he continued, but more like points accrued to be spent only in the monacoin network.

A Google image search for 'monacoin' uncovers a plethora of different monacoin memes, 'monacoin-chan' characters and mascots.

Disclaimer: The author of this article lives in Japan but is not involved with the monacoin project or Foundation, and does not currently hold any monacoins.