Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) has released domestic cryptocurrency trading statistics for the first time.
According to data gathered from 17 cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan, as of Mar. 31 this year, the country has at least 3.5 million individuals that are trading with cryptocurrencies as actual assets.
Among them, crypto investors in their 20s, 30s and 40s make up a major share, accounting for 28, 34, and 22 percent, respectively, of the total crypto trader population in Japan.
Announced at the first meeting of a cryptocurrency exchange study group established by the FSA in early March, the data release marks the latest effort by the financial watchdog in bringing greater transparency to the industry following a recent hack of one of the domestic exchange Coincheck.
According to the FSA, the study and disclosure of the domestic trading statistics is a first step towards a more comprehensive examination over institutional issues in the cryptocurrency trading space in Japan.
In comparison, the financial regulator also disclosed in the latest report that the number of traders investing in cryptocurrency margins and futures is about 142,842 as of the end of March.
What's perhaps notable is the major contrast in the growth of yearly trading volume drawn to these two different types of investments.
According to the FSA's data, for example, yearly trading volume of the actual bitcoin cryptocurrency has grown from $22 million as of Mar. 31 in 2014 to $97 billion in 2017.
Yet at the same time, trading on margins, credit and futures of bitcoin as an underlying asset has surged from only $2 million in 2014 to a whopping $543 billion just in 2017 alone, the agency said.
Japanese crowd image via Shutterstock