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Japanese Firm Metaplanet Adds 117 BTC to Its Reserves Amid Yen Decline

May 13, 2024 at 04:02

Metaplanet, a publicly traded investment company in Japan, has incorporated Bitcoin as a reserve asset, accumulating about 117.7 BTC, valued at $7.2 million. This strategic decision is in response to the ongoing depreciation of the Japanese yen.

The Tokyo-based firm announced on May 13 that it is transitioning to a Bitcoin-centric treasury management strategy. “This shift is driven by the persistent economic challenges in Japan, including high government debt, extended periods of negative real interest rates, and a weakening yen,” the company explained in its announcement.

While the total amount of Bitcoin that Metaplanet intends to hold remains unspecified, the company revealed on May 10 that it had purchased the 117.7 BTC at an average cost of about 10.2 million yen per Bitcoin, approximately $65,000 each. Metaplanet’s market capitalization is currently about 3.5 billion yen, or $20 million.

This move towards Bitcoin follows Metaplanet’s initial disclosure of a new Bitcoin-focused strategy in early April, when it announced its first significant Bitcoin purchase valued at $6.5 million.

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The strategy quickly gained attention on social media and positively impacted Metaplanet’s stock prices on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. After the announcement, shares of Metaplanet, which trades under the ticker 3350, surged from 20 JPY ($0.13) to over 35 JPY ($0.22).

Previously known for its traditional investment operations, including a hotel business, investment services, and investor relations consultancy, Metaplanet was founded in 1999.

Additionally, the firm recently appointed Dylan LeClair, a notable market researcher, as its director of Bitcoin strategy. Metaplanet’s CEO Simon Gerovich hinted at further Bitcoin acquisitions in a recent post on X, stating, “This is just the beginning.”

The Japanese yen has faced significant challenges recently, becoming the worst-performing major currency against the U.S. dollar in 2024. It hit a low in April not seen since the 1990s, largely due to disparities in domestic and international interest rates and a growing trade deficit, according to local reports.

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