With all eyes on Bitcoin as it broke through another price barrier during Asian trading this morning many forget about some of the altcoins that are also reaching new heights. The Bitcoin digital locomotive may be pulling many of these altcoins up with it as it trades above $12,000 and strives to go even further. The main reason being that the majority of altcoins can only be purchased with Bitcoin, and this serves as part of their limitations.
One such coin that this does not apply to has seen a similar surge in investment over the past week or so, Japanese crypto asset Monacoin. It is only fitting that Japan, being a world leader in technology, has its own cryptocurrency marketed in its own language. Enter Monacoin (MONA) which isn’t a new asset as such but was launched in January 2014 – a long time ago in the world of cryptocurrencies.
Emerging from a Litecoin fork two years ago Monacoin was invented by a ‘Mr. Watanabe’, another Japanese pseudonym just like Satoshi Nakamoto. It is well established and unlike a number of other altcoins with altruistic ambitions, it has remained just a cryptocurrency. The difference is that a token has some degree of utility within the service it is designed to fund, a cryptocurrency does not and there are a number of tax implications with the latter which is why most ICOs today are the former. Additionally, Bitcoin has not seen the uptake in Japan as it has in other countries so the need for their own version has been filled.
The recent interest in Monacoin has been fueled by Japan’s stance on cryptos in general. The government of Japan opened up new possibilities for cryptocurrencies when it accepted them as legally viable payment methods. Asian neighbors such as China and Vietnam have taken the opposite stance and attempted to block and stifle them. With over 125 million citizens and an emerging digital payment marketplace, Japan is seen as a new battleground for cryptocurrencies as businesses and institutions strive to accelerate adoption.
Monacoin has been a direct beneficiary of this and has seen an uptake in both investment and actual usage as a digital currency. Price has jumped three-fold in the last week alone from $5.5 on November 30 to around $15 today. Up until early October, Monacoin was valued at less than a dollar so it is clear this altcoin still has a lot of fuel left in its tanks. If mass adoption within Japan occurs and it becomes a government approved digital asset, the sky is the limit.