Business Insider Japan: We Went to Ginza and Tried The World’s First App That Gives You Cryptocurrency For Dining Out

SynchroLife’s proof-of-concept campaign in Ginza, Tokyo is attracting a lot of attention in Japan and was even picked up by Business Insider Japan!

During this one month campaign (running until October 20th), participants can earn 3% of their total bill back in cryptocurrency at 21 participating restaurants. Business Insider Japan reporter Chikara Kawamura wrote an article detailing his experience participating in the campaign and discussing the trend of QR codes and even the recent Zaif hack. Check out the amazing article below!

We’ve translated the piece into English, or you can read the original in Japanese here:

Thank you again Chikara Kawamura for the great article!

Business Insider Japan— October 12, 2018

Business Insider Japan: We Went To Ginza And Tried The World’s First App That Gives You Cryptocurrency For Dining Out

Tokyu Plaza Ginza’s current campaign ( rewarding diners with cryptocurrency started September 21st and is already attracting a lot of attention from the public.

During the campaign, any diner who registers for a free account with the social restaurant review app “SynchroLife” can earn cryptocurrency for dining at one of 21 participating restaurants in Tokyu Plaza Ginza located in Ginza, Tokyo. Diners will earn 3% of their total bill cashback in a cryptocurrency called SynchroCoin (SYC) after scanning a QR code when paying at the end of their meal.

Diners will be able to use that SynchroCoin in the future to buy dining tickets or pay for meals at participating restaurants.

The campaign also contains a special food photo contest, and participants can win up to 50,000 yen in gift cards and SynchroCoin by posting photos of the restaurant they dined at in Tokyu Plaza Ginza.

The goal of the campaign is to help users learn the fun of using SynchroLife and earning token rewards, as well as to help restaurants experience SynchroLife’s new marketing methods for attracting new customers.

It was fast and easy!

I visited Tokyu Plaza Ginza in early October, about a week after the campaign started, with the sole mission of trying out SynchroLife — the world’s first app that rewards you for dining out with cryptocurrency.

Start by picking from one of their 21 unique restaurants

Image Credit:

All of the 21 restaurants at Tokyu Plaza Ginza are quite unique. After circling the restaurant floor I decided to try “Jikinmedai Meshi Ginza Hanatare” since they had the most appealing poster out front.

Next, just enjoy your meal!

Image Credit:

I got their “Jikinme Meshi”, which as appeared on the popular “Wide Show” on Fuji Television and the restaurant claims it is their most “Instagrammable” menu item. I wasn’t disappointed, it was superb. You enjoy it in three parts: first with sesame dressing, then with egg yolk and spice, then finally as ochazuke.

Time to pay!

Image Credit:

I noticed a little “Earn SynchroCoin!” sign by the register.

Open up the QR code reader in the SynchroLife app

Image Credit:

Inside the SynchroLife app there’s a QR code reader in the cryptocurrency wallet, open that up when you go to pay.

Next, the restaurant inserts your total bill and prepares a QR code

Image Credit:

The restaurant has their own special app on a smartphone or tablet and they will enter your total bill and make a QR code for you.

Double check and approve your total

Image Credit:

After you scan the QR code into your app, you get a chance to double check your total bill. It’s easy to understand and simple to use.

And now you’ll get 3% of your bill back in cryptocurrency. Now if only the exchange price goes up, you’ll be set…

Image Credit:

After approving you’re bill, you’re all done! It says rewards will be distributed within 15 days. The 3% cryptocurrency cashback rewards is calculated on the price of SynchroCoin on the LATOKEN cryptocurrency exchange. I should get about 170 yen worth this time. I couldn’t help but imagine what would happen if the price of SynchroCoin went up in the future and I was able to get a meal for free with this!

All done!

Image Credit:

The restaurants also have a final approval screen, and that’s it! During this special campaign you get 3% cashback in cryptocurrency but once the service is fully launched you may get as little as 1% cashback depending on how restaurants set their rewards.

While there are all kinds of international payment methods in Ginza’s restaurants, this is the only cryptocurrency related service in place.

Image Credit:

Ginza is a popular location for international tourists in Tokyo, and many of the restaurants here have payment options and signs for services from China and other places. However restaurants just want to make the payment process as easy as possible. It’s still unknown what methods will become standard for SynchroLife’s cashback service and other similar services in the future.

But it only took a few seconds after payment for me to check in to get my cryptocurrency reward. It was unbelievably fast and easy.

The Pros and Cons of QR Codes

Image Credit:,

Tomochika Kamiya, the founder and CEO of GINKAN (the company managing SynchroLife), says that before starting this campaign he explained to the restaurants that by paying just a small percent of the total bill users actually spend at each restaurant to cover the cashback in cryptocurrency, restaurants could not only attract new customers but get viral marketing online as well when users post their reviews on SynchroLife.

Participating in this contest requires almost nothing from the restaurants, aside from having to enter the bill total to make a QR code. There are no upfront costs or special machines needed, so my impression was that the campaign is mutually beneficial for both restaurants and diners. If SynchroLife adds a payment future to their QR code reader used to get rewards now, I can see how SynchroLife could easily be a tool for cashless payments.

However, Mr. Kamiya notes restaurants still have a lot of issues regarding cashless payments.

“Many restaurants have expressed dissatisfaction with QR code payments. The complaints depend on the service, but you hear a lot about commission fees and the hassle of having yet another tech device by the register. One of the biggest complaints is that when things go wrong it can cost the restaurant a lot in lost time and frustrated customers” (Kamiya)

SynchroLife and Tokyu Plaza Ginza are keeping this in mind as they run this proof-of-concept test and consider how they can reward diners with cryptocurrency or use cryptocurrency at restaurants in the future.

The effects of the recent hack…

Right before the start of SynchroLife’s campaign, news broke that the Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif had lost $60 million in cryptocurrency after being hacked. Following the $500 million hack of Coincheck exchange last January, the general public is more mistrusting of cryptocurrency than ever. But Mr. Kamiya says, “At this point we don’t think the hack had any effect on our campaign.”

“SynchroLife’s system of rewarding users for restaurant reviews or dining at participating restaurants with cryptocurrency, like we are doing with this campaign, isn’t really related to the cryptocurrencies being used for investment in the ups and downs of the market. The recent hack is news for a segment of professionals interested in this industry, but for foodies getting a bit of cryptocurrency when dining out cryptocurrency is just a little bonus and they’re not concerned with that kind of news.” (Kamiya)

The restaurants at Tokyu Plaza Ginza involved in the campaign say they haven’t received any questions regarding the Zaif incident and have had no technical problems of any sort with the app or cryptocurrency for this campaign.

(Interview and Reporting by Chikara Kawamura)

Thank you again Chikara Kawamura and Business Insider Japan for the wonderful article! The original Japanese article can be read here:

You can learn more about our campaign in Tokyu Plaza Ginza by checking out the campaign site ( or reading our press release below:

Please visit the following links to learn more about SynchroLife! 📲

Official Website:

SynchroLife Mobile App:
iOS App Store:
Android Google Play:

Other Medium Articles by the SynchroLife Team:

Social Restaurant Review Platform SynchroLife Launches Campaign at 21 Tokyu Plaza Ginza Restaurants: Earn 3% of Your Bill Cashback in Cryptocurrency! (Press Release)
SynchroCoin (SYC) to List on LATOKEN, First Exchange for Restaurant Review Reward Token Used in SynchroLife Token Economy (Press Release) 
Token Economy Based Restaurant Review Service “SynchroLife” Announces First Restaurant Campaign with Tokyu Plaza Ginza (Press Release)
Cointelegraph Japan: TEC — A New Way of Fundraising for Cryptocurrency Startups (Exclusive Chat with Ceres & SynchroLife)
The Nikkei: GINKAN’s Restaurant Review App Forms Business Alliance with Ceres
Tech Crunch Japan: Token Economy x Restaurant Review App “SynchroLife”, Announces Seed Round Including Token Equity Convertible
Business Insider Japan: The World’s First Social Restaurant Review Service with Token Rewards “SynchroLife” Announces Seed Funding — Including Token Equity Convertible
GINKAN Announces Business Alliance and Seed Round of 720,000 USD with Ceres Inc. to Further Grow Token Economy & AI Based Social Restaurant Review Service “SynchroLife” (Press Release)
Tech Crunch Japan: Social Restaurant Discovery App SynchroLife Releases New Version with Token Rewards for Quality Reviews
Cointelegraph Japan: Japanese Company Implements World’s First Token Reward System for Restaurant Reviews
SynchroLife Releases World’s First Restaurant Review Service with Cryptocurrency Token Rewards for Users (Press Release)
SynchroLife CEO Tomochika Kamiya Interviewed by Plug and Play Japan
SynchroLife Major Launch Announcement — Becoming the World’s First Restaurant Review Platform with Token Rewards
SynchroLife CEO Tomochika Kamiya Interviewed by Plug and Play Japan
SynchroLife Nominated at “THE COIN” in Tokyo, CEO Tomochika Kamiya Presents