Marrying Bitcoin and MonaCoin: Japan’s Native Cryptocurrency Explored!


Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency, has a mysterious origin story with its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, using a Japanese pseudonym. This connection has fostered a sense of national pride in Japan, making the country more receptive to cryptocurrencies.

Amidst the global Bitcoin frenzy, a unique digital currency, MonaCoin, emerged from Japan’s vibrant internet culture. Initially perceived as a joke when it was introduced in 2013, MonaCoin has since evolved into a significant player in the cryptocurrency market.

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The Birth of MonaCoin

In December 2013, an individual or group under the pseudonym “Mr. Watanabe ” introduced MonaCoin on 2channel, Japan’s largest internet forum. Mr. Watanabe’s initial portrayal of MonaCoin was as a game currency, akin to those used in popular video games like Final Fantasy.

Despite this playful introduction, the digital currency quickly took on a life of its own. Named after “Mona,” an ASCII art character resembling a cat emoji popular on 2channel, MonaCoin was officially launched on January 1, 2014. It was based on Litecoin technology, but over time, a dedicated network of volunteers has enhanced its capabilities, making it a fast, secure means of transaction.

Technical Aspects of MonaCoin

Built upon the robust framework of Litecoin, MonaCoin has inherited notable speed and security capabilities, establishing itself as a reliable option in the cryptocurrency domain.

The active and engaged MonaCoin community, composed of both developers and users, plays a crucial role in the continuous enhancement and optimization of the currency’s performance, ensuring that transactions are not only swift but also secure. The Monacoin Foundation stands at the forefront of this decentralized movement, nurturing a strong sense of community and steering the development of MonaCoin in a positive direction.

Despite its grassroots nature, the ecosystem around MonaCoin is vibrant and dynamic, demonstrating a commitment to innovation and user experience, and solidifying its reputation as a trustworthy and efficient digital currency.

The MonaCoin Community and Culture

The MonaCoin community is a vibrant collective of enthusiasts, developers, and users. Following the 2014 collapse of Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based Bitcoin exchange, MonaCoin garnered positive media attention, being portrayed as a safe, Japanese-made alternative.

The currency’s cultural impact was evident when it featured on Tokyo TV Network, showcasing a man purchasing land with MonaCoin and constructing a shrine in its honor. This act reflects Japan’s polytheistic and animist traditions, subtly implying that MonaCoin, too, is worthy of reverence.

The community’s grassroots nature is further highlighted by the existence of a MonaCoin tipping system, developed by a high school student, enabling users to tip each other via Twitter.

Real-World Usage and Adoption

In Japan, MonaCoin has found real-world applications. Several major currency exchanges in the country support the digital currency, and a growing number of online and physical stores accept it. Additionally, MonaCoin ATMs are becoming increasingly prevalent.

While its usage outside Japan remains limited, the necessary applications for international users are readily available. MonaCoin’s status as Japan’s first cryptocurrency has helped it establish a solid fanbase, further propelling its adoption.

Challenges and Criticisms

MonaCoin, Japan’s indigenous cryptocurrency, has carved a niche for itself in the digital currency world, demonstrating significant success and resilience. However, it faces ongoing challenges, including its struggle to achieve widespread global adoption in a highly competitive and rapidly evolving cryptocurrency market.

Critics have drawn parallels between MonaCoin’s situation and the fate of outdated Japanese technologies such as BETAMAX, highlighting the potential risks associated with investing in the digital currency. Despite these challenges, MonaCoin offers a range of unique advantages that distinguish it from other cryptocurrencies.

Its utility as a convenient and efficient means of payment, combined with exceptionally low transaction fees, has garnered strong support from a dedicated community. This robust backing from users and enthusiasts alike contributes to MonaCoin’s sustained relevance and potential for future growth in the digital currency landscape.


MonaCoin’s journey from an internet joke to a serious cryptocurrency is a testament to the power of community and innovation. It stands out in the crowded cryptocurrency market through its unique origins, strong community support, and real-world applications.

While challenges lie ahead, MonaCoin’s position as Japan’s native cryptocurrency ensures it will remain a significant player in the digital currency landscape. For those looking to engage with cryptocurrencies, exploring options can provide an additional avenue to navigate and understand the market.

The future of MonaCoin is intrinsically tied to the vibrancy of its community and its ability to adapt to the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency.

Article and permission to publish here provided by Jean Nichols. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on November 16, 2023.