Tech Bureau Inc, a Japanese venture capital company, has relaunched the largest monacoin exchange in the country. The new service, Zaif, trades monacoin, bitcoin, and Japanese yen.


Tech Bureau Inc have raised $835,000 from Nippon Technology Venture Partners (NTVP) and intend to turn Zaif, previously known as the monacoin service Etwings, into the largest Bitcoin exchange in Japan. Before the relaunch, the startup specialised in monacoin, Japan's largest cryptocurrency, which is more popular among the Japanese than bitcoin due to the collapse of Mt.Gox in early 2014.

“In Japan, no one talks about Bitcoin 2.0, and people have little interest in owning bitcoins themselves,” said Tech Bureau's CEO, Takao Asayama. “Unfortunately, the first newsworthy event related to Bitcoin in Japan was the collapse of Mt. Gox, which has fuelled a lot of negative  coverage in the media.”

Japan is currently experiencing a cryptocurrency boom, as the local monacoin has increased its market cap by 750% since January 2015. Tech Bureau Inc intends to use it to boost confidence in bitcoin as the world’s cryptocurrency number one is not very popular in the country. There are less than 100 retailers that accept bitcoins in Japan.

The main changes, as indicated on the Zaif website, concern the new name of the service, the integration of bitcoin, and the cancellation of fees. Users can continue trading with their Etwings accounts. The website has undergone improvements and an English version will be launched soon, the press release claims.