The Decentralized Finance (DeFi) boom seems unstoppable in Japan and the most noteworthy drivers are the sports and entertainment industries. Crypto token markets are heating up in the country not only among crypto-savvy users but also younger generations, thanks to sports stars and pop idols.

Release of Brave in Japan with Rush Gaming and BTS

In June this year, Brave Software, Inc. announced an exclusive release of Brave in Japan, by collaborating with Japanese eSports team, Rush Gaming and K-pop band, BTS. In these joint ventures, Brave offers Japanese users an access to its exclusive content such as videos and ads in association with Rush Gaming and BTS.

In addition, the browser also enables Japanese users to earn BAT (Basic Attention Token) and trade on BitFlyer in Japan. Brave Software International SEZC, a subsidiary of Brave Software partnered with BitFlyer, a cryptocurrency exchange, to jointly develop a crypto wallet. The joint venture opened up new opportunities to drive BAT trading among Japanese users as well as to build a new bridge for the fan communities of Rush Gaming and BTS. 

SKE48 launched the first NFT Trading Card in the entertainment industry

Japanese pop group, SKE48 launched the first non-fungible tokens (NFT) on Oct 3, in partnership with the Japanese blockchain firm, Coinbook. This SKE48’s digital trading card has sold out within hours on the day of its issue. SKE48 is the first J-pop idol who released NFTs in the country’s entertainment industry. The NFTs are compliant with Ethereum’s ERC-721 token. Following this success, Coinbook set plans to promote the commercialization of the NFT secondary market, which enables users to trade digital content with crypto. The growth of the NFT market in Japan has shown a steady increase over the last three years, and is projected to accelerate further.

Japanese football icon Keisuke Honda debuts his own cryptocurrency

Keisuke Honda, the legend of Japanese football and the current Botafogo’s Japanese midfielder, unveiled his own crypt token, KSK Honda Coin last week on Oct. 21. The coin was rolled out through his own KSK Angel Fund, as a new medium to connect with his fans, ‘like a fan club’. What is unique about Honda’s coin is the social element of reaching and connecting with his fans.

The coin gives its holders access to exclusive media content from Honda’s private channel and enables fan engagement. According to Honda, the token offers a more open platform for the fan community, as well as the aim to use the coin funds for something meaningful. Honda is the first Japanese star football player taking the lead in venturing into digital initiatives and cryptocurrencies, inspired by the latest trend to look for new ways of fan engagements.

Familiarizing young Japanese with DeFi

Sports and entertainment industries were among the first to explore fresh opportunities in the blockchain and the use of cryptocurrency in exchange for goods and services. Blockchain technology has opened an era of maximizing the value of digital data. Non-crypto-savvy Japan’s young generations are engaging themselves in sports and entertainment using crypto, such as supporting a football team via Fan Token and betting on sports with Japanese bookmakers. Now, the Japanese sports stars and pop idols are creating buzz, and accelerating the trend further among the young to get familiarized with and adapt to DeFi as part of everyday life.