Meet Monacoin, Japan’s cryptocurrency meme

In the west, the popular Dogecoin cryptocurrency rose to fame on the back of a meme. In Japan, Monacoin fulfils the same role.

Japan’s native cryptocurrency Monacoin (MONA) surged earlier this month, recording a day-over-day increase of 17% on September 14. MONA had rebounded sharply in oversold conditions after hitting fresh lows since August. The latest report issued by the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) stated that the Japanese market was starting to buy MONA again.

Mr Watanabe

Monacoin was Japan’s first native cryptocurrency. It was developed in 2014 by an anonymous developer calling themselves “Mr. Watanabe.” The pseudonym is thought to be a homage to Satoshi Nakamoto. Watanabe is a common Japanese surname and has its roots in the ferrymen’s guild of medieval times.

Monacoin is a popular cryptocurrency amongst Japanese traders because multiple cryptocurrency exchanges list MONA in Japan, and because of what the coin represents.

The Mona meme

Monacoin is a fork of Litecoin. Like Dogecoin, it is based on a popular internet meme. Monacoin represents Mona, an ASCII cat from in the late 1990s that was very popular in Japan. MONA is the native cryptocurrency of the proof-of-work Monacoin platform.

Monacoin’s coin supply is 105,120,000, and new blocks are processed every 1.5 minutes, which is faster than Litecoin’s 2.5 minutes, and much faster than Bitcoin’s 10 minutes. The fast block speeds enable low transaction costs and make it a very efficient means of moving between crypto assets and the Japanese Yen when on-ramping to and from exchanges.

Monacoin reached a peak of $19.75 on December 6, 2017, during the altcoin boom market. MONA is ASIC-resistant, and unlike many proof of work cryptocurrencies it can still be mined by individual miners using CPUs.

Despite its mysterious origins, the coin has a strong community of developers who have added support for Segwit and Lightning ensuring the coin stays relevant in a changing marketplace.

Over $350,000 worth of MONA is traded on a daily basis. Cryptocurrency exchanges that accept MONA include Bitbank (where the majority of MONA trading occurs), Bittrex, Upbit, Livecoin, and CryptoBridge. MONA trading pairs include BTC and fiat JPY.

MONA can be stored in the Coinomi or Electrum Mona wallets. Monacoin Core wallets are available for a variety of platforms.

The pride of Japan

Japan prides itself on producing native goods and culture and therefore Monacoin is thought of with great fondness by local cryptocurrency traders.

Meanwhile, according to the statistics of 18 member cryptocurrency exchanges published by JVCEA on September 10, holdings of XRP, MONA, and LTC, which had remained low, began to increase from the beginning of 2019, amid a sustained decline in holdings of Bitcoin (with profit-taking probably affected by the BTC price surge).

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