Activity Report Vol.30: Recap of the Otaku Coin Concept Presentation

An in-depth look at the information presented during the event.


The Otaku Coin Concept Presentation was held on May 9, 2018 at Akihabara UDX. It was highly anticipated and covered by over 150 media outlets. It was exciting and motivating for us, the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee, to see.

In this article, we want to share what was discussed during the event, such as why Otaku Coin shouldn’t be something to overlook, who Otaku Coin is meant for, and how it will be used. It might be a long article, but we’d appreciate it if you’d read until the end.

What was discussed during the Otaku Coin Concept Presentation?

The Otaku Coin Concept Presentation held on May 9, 2018 kicked off with a talk by Kenji Saito, a leading blockchain researcher who is now a senior researcher in Keio University SFC, regarding the current economic situation and his foresight in the new era of economics that is expected to be brought on by blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Following that up was a talk regarding the current state and problems of the anime industry in Japan by Tadashi Sudo, an anime journalist and the specially appointed professor at the Graduate School of Entertainment Business of the Japan University of Economics. Lastly, Naomitsu Kodaka, the CEO of the company that presented the concept of Otaku Coin and established the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee, Tokyo Otaku Mode Inc. (herein TOM), summarized the two previous speakers then passionately presented the concept of Otaku Coin along with the committee’s aspiration for it.

※ The concept of Otaku Coin was drafted by TOM in December 2017. In order to actualize this idea, working with professionals outside TOM was needed, thus the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee was formed. Currently more than half of the passionately participating members are not affiliated with TOM. Without any special interests, the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee is an independent group only focused on realizing Otaku Coin.

First was Saito’s speech, next came Sudo’s speech, and finally Kodaka’s speech which linked everything together.

Kenji Saito stated that ICO is a way for people who want to take a chance with cryptocurrency to join together with other people who have the same idea and create something new which he refers to as the “NEO: New Economic Order” and further discusses in his book The NEO of the Mysterious Country — Changed Money in the Future World. He advocates that this next-generation model can also be understood as one of which those that want to contribute a project can collect resources from other who want to contribute as well.

Tadashi Sudo talked about the problems in the current anime industry, such as the budget and fundraising of anime production, the monetization of anime, the distribution of anime, and the way to deal with piracy. It was made clear that piracy of anime is a huge problem, not just in the video industry but also in merchandising.

Naomitsu Kodaka not only summarized their presentations and presented the concept of Otaku Coin, but also proposed a new way of fundraising, called “SPIRIT VOTE”.

※ No profit would be received by the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee, TOM or other partners through SPIRIT VOTE.

Otaku Coin Defined

A simple definition of Otaku Coin would be “a coin that is also a voting token which utilizes blockchain technology and is specialized for the otaku community.”

Otaku Coin Concept

The Otaku Coin SPIRIT VOTE concept was presented during the event.

Otaku Coin Objectives

The objective of Otaku Coin is to first start with a system that allows people to support pop-culture through voting and then create a system that can support otaku culture for the next 100 years.

What do we actually want to do with Otaku Coin?

Holding Otaku Coin means that you have a way, a voting token, to convey your opinion on Japanese pop-culture starting with anime. That is the significance of Otaku Coin. As Kodaka said, we would like to use Otaku Coin to create a system that can help Japanese pop-culture industries to live on.

So how will we make a system to prolong their lifespan? It has to do with the concepts and objectives discussed below.

Supporting Anime

There are plenty of ways that we can support anime studios such as improving work environments and their human resource departments. We want to financially support the most important and necessary parts of anime production. Currently, there isn’t enough funding for the demand the market is making.

While the annual number of anime created is increasing every year, an increase in the quality of the work being produced (page drawn, amount of detail, new technology such as 3DCG and Cel shading) is also being demanded. The product workload has also been segmentalized and the number of staff continues to increase. Yet, despite that the work and labor costs are rising, the reality is that the price paid for the work isn’t rising in proportion.

Currently, the funding for anime productions has become more diversified from production committee, investments, self-investments, bank borrowing, debt crisis, to most recently crowdfunding. With all these ways of fundraising it is presently difficult for a studio to secure the most important thing for them, the rights to their work.

The audience, clients, and even creators themselves are look more extreme changes. In order to meet demand, the costs burdened by the anime studios have dramatically increased and the fundraising methods for helping to alleviate these burdens has become extremely complicated. As a result, the copyrights for a work get spread out and in turn it becomes even more difficult for the anime studios to retain the rights of the work or even receive any profits.

Can’t we at least change the situation a bit? Can’t we create a system to motivate anime studios to create more works? We are not asking in a patronizing attitude, but we would like to ask all of you, all of the passionate fans, to work together to try to create such a system. Even the process of trying to do this might be a meaning action.

Motivating Circulation

Otaku Coin isn’t simply a voting token for voting rights. The following would also be motivations for using it.

  • Fans themselves can increase the chance of new works through participating in their hobbies
  • Fans will have more chances to be a part of Japanese pop-culture
  • Otaku activities will be put in a more positive light

This and more can happen if Otaku Coin is considered meaningful and captivating. We’re attempting to create a system of circulation that makes fans feel continuously connected.

Recently, there has been a generally negative impression towards cryptocurrencies due to deceitful uses and scams. Despite that, we are still preparing the Otaku Coin to be a cryptocurrency on the blockchain. The negative impression of cryptocurrency isn’t completely true and is based of biases.

Flawed thinking loop:

  1. cryptocurrency is suspicious
  2. cryptocurrency = blockchain
  3. blockchain is suspicious

It is extremely easy for us to think that way. But please understand the possibility that blockchain carries. It makes information fair and visible. It makes the world much more simple. That’s why blockchain can make the Otaku Coin ideology come true.

Toward a Better World. What is “SPIRIT VOTE”?

By having Otaku Coin, you will have voting tokens. (However, in order to use it as a voting token you’ll need the Otaku Coin wallet app which will be released by the Otaku Coin Preparation Committee.)

  • You can use the voting token to vote for works you like or projects that you hope to be realized and thus will be supporting anime studios. (This is still under construction.)
  • In order to make the support practical the Otaku Coin will be given value.
  • More Otaku Coin will be distributed as fans are involved in more supportive activities.

The above mentioned points is what the system of the “SPIRIT VOTE” is constructed of. Just like how currencies circulate in economies, Otaku Coin will circulate from providing financial support to the production studios, then back to the fans, then back again to the production studio. Otaku Coin might not cover all of a studio’s budget at the start, but we believe it will increase more and more. Until then, the works made for fans and thanks to fans will be the “fuel” for the Otaku Coin engine.

Initially, there will be few ways (and requirements) to earn Otaku Coin.

  • Free distribution campaign and Airdrop
  • Bounty distribution campaign

These ways of distribution will only be done for a certain time or amount.

Other ways to earn Otaku Coin that will be announced later and might include the following.

  • Purchasing products
  • Watching anime
  • Participating in events
  • Special bounty programs

The main idea is simply that all of the ways to obtain Otaku Coin will be ways that also support the work.

There’s a great possibility that fans will continue to use Otaku Coin to support creators if they’re rewarded with such things as new works and receive more Otaku Coin.

The initial voting feature of the Otaku Coin will be an opportunity for users to earn Otaku Coin. In other words, fan activities will be directly linked to obtaining Otaku Coin. Simply enjoying your hobby will be a way to support creators. We’ll be adding even more meaning behind fan activities.

Who is the Otaku Coin for?

Otaku Coin is for everyone who loves Japanese pop-culture. As mentioned above, Otaku Coin will be distributed to fans who loves Japanese pop-culture all over the world by airdrop and bounty. It will help create the future of the industry.

A Concept Report has been Prepared

On the Otaku Coin Official Website, we’ve uploaded the concept report that summaries all of the ideas currently. Please take a look.

A World Circulating Support

Pop-culture makes people feel touched, cry, smile, be curious, enamored, and dream for the future. It is a wonderful thing to enable fans to give back to the creators who provide content that provokes such feelings.

Pop culture is for everyone. We can all experience happiness, possibilities, and awe from it and share in it together. It then grows and influences the culture of the next generation. The community currency, Otaku Coin will definitely take an important role in this.