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As part of a bid to preserve a historic park, a city in Japan is reportedly raising donations in bitcoin.

The city of Hirosaki, according to a report from national public broadcaster NHK, is collecting funds to maintain more than 2,000 cherry blossom trees, as well as a centuries-old castle.

Supporting the measure is Tokyo-based bitcoin wallet and exchange service Coincheck. According to figures posted on its website, 0.5749 BTC has so far been raised (worth roughly $720 at press time) from 40 contributors.

While small, the amount would no doubt help chip away at the expenses of the park in Hirosaki, as NHK reports the municipality spends hundreds of thousands of dollars per year on upkeep.

The broadcaster also suggested the digital currency has caught the attention of local officials who see it as a possible vehicle for addressing issues related to fundraising more generally.

“Deputy mayor Noboru Yamamoto says the virtual currency may provide a solution to other Japanese local authorities at a time when most are struggling to raise funds,” NHK reported.

Bitcoin has served as a donation tool for much of its history. Groups ranging from the Red Cross of America to Save the Children have turned the cryptocurrency into a way to collect contributions.

Hirosaki Castle Park image via Shutterstock

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