The Government of Hirosaki Accepts Bitcoin Donations to Preserve Popular Cherry Tree Park
A local government in Japan and a bitcoin company are cooperating to accept bitcoin donations from Japan and beyond to help preserve a popular cherry blossom viewing park. Preservation and maintenance costs at the historic park run up to hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. The effort will be facilitated by Tokyo-based bitcoin wallet and exchange provider Coincheck.
Donations will help preserve 2600 cherry trees of 50 different varieties and the 400 years-old Hirosaki castle at the park, by repairing its stone walls. The report further cites Hirosaki deputy mayor Noboru Yamamoto stating that bitcoin may also prove a solution for other local authorities in Japan at a time when most are struggling to raise funds. An unnamed Hirosaki government official stated:
“Blockchain technology behind bitcoin sounds interesting. Last year, I saw several news articles such as “stores that install bitcoin payment (Coincheck Payment) reached over 260,000”, “Virtual Currency Law comes into effect from April in 2017” and “No tax imposed when buying bitcoin.” Reading them, I thought bitcoin was becoming more useful in society.”
The city official is referring to a number of positive developments for the local bitcoin sector in Japan. At the beginning of the month, bitcoin gained recognition as a legal method of payment. Following bitcoin’s acceptance, Japanese retailing giants have partnered bitcoin companies to enable payments with the cryptocurrency. “At Hirosaki-city, we consider bitcoin donation as a great opportunity to attract tourists from overseas,” the official added. A relatively small amount, but undoubtedly a novel method to raise donations and awareness about a historic park beyond Japan’s borders.
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