Japan's Metaplanet Scoops More Bitcoin Amid Sluggish Economic Growth

Publicly traded Metaplanet Inc. has scooped up 42 additional Bitcoin valued at 400 million yen ($2.4 million), defying shifting crypto market sentiment amid additional selling pressure from major entities.

The Tokyo-based firm’s latest acquisition is part of a move to bolster its crypto, bringing the company’s total Bitcoin holdings to 203 BTC, according to a public disclosure statement on Sunday.

Last month, the firm established a wholly-owned subsidiary, Metaplanet Capital Limited, as part of its strategic initiative to enhance its Bitcoin holdings and capitalize on international growth opportunities.

“Metaplanet will utilize excess cash flow and implement accretive corporate governance, including financial management strategies such as debt and equity financing, to further its Bitcoin accumulation,” the company’s manifesto reads.

Metaplanet’s purchase comes at a time when Japan continues to grapple with decades-long economic challenges.

The yen’s exchange rate has steadily declined, dropping to 160.96 against the U.S. dollar and 173.81 against the euro. It represents the yen’s weakest level against the dollar since 1986 and its lowest value against the euro on record.

The country faces prolonged economic stagnation, an aging population, and a shrinking workforce, further exacerbating Japan’s financial headaches.

In the face of sluggish demand, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has maintained an accommodative monetary policy, attempting to stimulate growth by keeping interest rates low despite other major developed nations moving in the opposite direction.

While Metaplanet is relatively small, valued at $97 million, its purchase aligns with other companies seeking to place the world’s largest crypto on their balance sheet, including the likes of MicroStrategy.

As of July 2024, MicroStrategy holds a total of 226,331 BTC valued at 12.5 billion. The company has been increasing its own Bitcoin holdings, including 11,931 BTC, for approximately $786 million between April and June.

The strategic acquisitions by Metaplanet and others come despite shifting crypto market sentiment influenced by factors such as the potential liquidation of assets from the defunct Mt. Gox exchange and Germany’s government.

Metaplanet’s stock price rose 1.2% early in the Asia trading session, to around $0.50.

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