Kasotsuka Shojo: Japan’s latest J-pop band “Virtual Currency Girls” is all about cryptocurrency

The reach of cryptocurrencies knows no bounds.

As Bitcoin’s worth continues to skyrocket, and even joke cryptocurrencies like Dogecoin seem to be gaining traction, it’s clear 2018 will only see it grow further. As people begin to jump aboard the cryptocurrency bandwagon, it’s clear they’ll need a champion and Japan is ready to heed their call.

Enter Kasotsuka Shojo or, as their name translates the “Virtual Currency Girls”. Kasotsuka Shojo is a J-pop group where each of its eight members represents a digital currency, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and even Dogecoin. Bizarrely, each band member wears a luchador mask emblazoned with the cryptocurrency they represent. They also wear maid costumes, because why not, so it’s certainly a strange way to create idols for the Japanese market.

If you’re wondering quite why a cryptocurrency J-pop band exists, it’s worth noting that since the Japanese government legalised cryptocurrencies last year, Japan has become one of Bitcoin’s biggest markets. The group’s promoter and creator Cinderella Academy says it created Kasotsuka Shojo to educate the public about cryptocurrencies, but it’s also quite as likely that it’s a play for Cinderella Academy to get itself involved in the lucrative market of cryptocurrencies.

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The group’s first sold-out show took place on 12 January and the only way you could nab a ticket was via cryptocurrency. All of the group’s merchandise is also only available through cryptocurrencies. The group’s first single, entitled “The Moon and Virtual Currencies and Me” warned listeners of the dangers of using cryptocurrency and how to be secure online to avoid fraudsters.

Virtual currency girls are not units that encourage speculation or investment”, Kasotsuka Shojo’s leader, Naruse Lara – who dresses as Bitcoin Cash – says in a translated press release about the group. “It is a unit that carefully selects future currencies from a number of virtual currencies and spreads correct knowledge in entertainment.

“Although we are still immature we will do our best to study every day and serve you a lot, thank you!”

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Japan is no stranger to peculiar pop groups. Both BabyMetal – an all-girl heavy metal pop group – and Ladybaby – another metal pop band fronted by a cross-dressing Australian wrestler – took Japan and the international market by storm only a few years ago. It’s unclear if Kasotsuka Shojo will do similar, but if cryptocurrencies stick around, there’s certainly going to be a global market for them. If nothing else, their first single is worryingly catchy.

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