Kei Oda is the head of Japan and the Asia-Pacific region for Quantstamp, a Web3 security firm that audits smart contracts and develops blockchain security solutions.
Kei spent 16 years trading bonds at Goldman Sachs before getting involved in cryptocurrencies. He was attracted to the ability to trade Bitcoin and other assets 24/7.
Here are 6 questions for Kei Oda:
1. How did you get involved in crypto?
– Kei was a bond trader before discovering Bitcoin.
– Initially, he didn’t understand or believe in it, but once he left his job, he saw the long-term focus and short-term trading opportunities in the crypto space.
– He started trading Bitcoin as a way to pass the time and eventually became fascinated with the value proposition of cryptocurrencies like Ethereum.
2. What do you think of the current Japanese crypto ecosystem?
– Japan has come a long way in embracing cryptocurrencies and has a vibrant ecosystem.
– Bitcoin is accepted as a payment method, although it’s not an official government currency.
– Security tokens are becoming an exciting sector for Japanese financial firms, with many companies looking into them.
3. What has held the Japanese crypto scene back?
– Taxation is a major issue in Japan.
– Japanese startups issuing tokens and selling them to Japanese investors are subject to taxes on both the sold and unsold tokens.
– Personal taxes on crypto trading profits can be as high as 55%, making it unfriendly for startup founders and entrepreneurs.
4. Do you think more companies will start setting up in Japan instead of opting for other Asian hubs?
– The Japanese government is actively trying to attract talent and has plans for digital nomad visas.
– Japan’s big market size makes it an attractive location for startups.
– Kei created an event called Tokyo Blockchain Night where like-minded people can network and discuss crypto without sales pitches.
6. How did contagion from collapses like FTX impact the Japanese market?
– FTX had a Japanese subsidiary called Liquid, which was fully liquid and solvent due to stricter Japanese regulations on asset custody.
– Japanese customers of FTX were able to get all their money back, while the situation for FTX International customers is unclear.
– Japanese regulations have become stricter after the CoinCheck hack, leading to increased Japanese activity, including the upcoming launch of stablecoins by MUFG, Japan’s biggest banking conglomerate.