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Tokyo Otaku Mode Considers 'Otaku Coin' Cryptocurrency

posted on by Karen Ressler
Proposed system seeks collaboration, feedback

Tokyo Otaku Mode (TOM) announced on Wednesday that it is considering launching initial coin offering (ICO) for a cryptocurrency called Otaku Coin, which is designed for use in the market for anime, manga, and games from Japan. The Otaku Coin Preparation Committee is currently seeking collaboration and feedback from "industry members, experts, and specialists."

Though TOM plans for the cryptocurrency to support the manga and game markets, the company is beginning with a focus on the anime industry. The primary service TOM seeks to provide is a platform where fans can accumulate Otaku Coins through "fan activity," such as viewing trailers and first episodes and writing reviews. Otaku Coins could then be spent on anime merchandise and conventions or donated to support animation studios, producers, and animators.

The organizers hope that the ICO will lead to a new kind of anime production committee where fans can provide more direct financial support to creators, and producers will be able to quantify which anime are most popular through the proposed platform. TOM co-founder and CEO Naomitsu Kodaka cited animation production support as one of the primary reasons for launching the project, along with creating a "universal currency for the Otaku industry."

The press release details some possibilities for the project, such as having manga artists design the look of Otaku Coin and well-known composers create the transaction noises. TOM also proposed an augmented reality game where players can "jump to reach Otaku Coins floating in midair."

TOM emphasized that, like other cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin, there would be no centralized body operating this platform, and it will instead be maintained by an open source community. TOM would design and develop the platform only.

TOM opened a Telegram in English and Japanese to create a dialogue about the project with those interested in becoming advisers or cooperators. Current advisers to the project include Genco, Inc. President Tarō Maki and anime journalist Tadashi Sudo (Anime! Anime!). Japanese company AnyPay Inc., which offers consulting services for ICOs, is supporting the plan as a partner.

The company plans to launch and information session and draft proposal in spring 2018, with the ICO launching in spring or summer 2018. However, the company has not yet confirmed that it will launch the ICO.

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