This Japanese Village Is Planning Its Own ICO

A Japanese village is launching the country's first Initial Coin Offering (ICO) on the municipal level.

AccessTimeIconJun 18, 2018 at 9:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:04 a.m. UTC

A small Japanese village is turning to cryptocurrencies in an effort to bolster its economy.

Nishiawakura – a village of approximately 1,500 people in the Okayama prefecture in Japan – revealed its plan last week to launch a regional initial coin offering as a way to secure funding. The municipality, in particular, relies on forestry to support its economy - about 95 percent of the town is made up of forest area, according to the village's official announcement.

Nishiawakura Coin (NAC) will be issued by Nishiawakura's Token Economy Association. While the launch date has not yet been released, some details about the coin can be found on its official website.

The village launched the effort after its leaders saw ICOs being widely used around the globe by companies and non-governmental organizations, Nikkei reported on June 16. Officials also took note that the country is moving ahead with the establishment of self-regulatory rules regarding the blockchain funding model.

In its release, the village quoted Yoichi Ochiai, a Japanese researcher and cryptocurrency author, who claimed that future local governments in Japan "will move away from centralization and make an aggressive investment in ICOs."

This is not the first instance of municipal interest in ICOs worldwide. As previously reported by CoinDesk, the mayor of the Louisiana city of Lafayette pitched an ICO to raise cash.

Editor's Note: Statements in this article were translated from Japanese. 

Japanese yen image via Shutterstock

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