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Bitcoin could boost Japan’s economic growth

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Cryptocurrencies are getting less isolated from traditional markets. Last year, exchanges in Chicago started trading bitcoin futures. More recently, Goldman Sachs announced it would open a cryptocurrency trading desk.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Benoit Tessier
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But now, according to financial services company Nomura, cryptocurrencies are also influencing the real economy.

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Nomura released a note predicting that bitcoin’s growth will boost Japan’s GDP by 0.3% in the first quarter.

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The effect is more tangible in Japan because bitcoin is more popular there. Nomura estimates that 1 million people in Japan collectively own $54 billion in bitcoin. Some 40% of bitcoin trading is yen-denominated.

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Bitcoin’s influence is positive as long as the price keeps climbing. But more points of contact with the traditional economy also raises the risk of contagion if bitcoin crashes.

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