Hirosaki City to collect donations in Bitcoin

Hirosaki City to collect donations in Bitcoin

A Japanese city plans to collect virtual currency donations to help maintain a popular cherry blossom viewing park.

The park in Hirosaki City, Aomori Prefecture is known for its 2,600 cherry trees and 400-year-old castle. The park attracts 2 million people during blossom season each year. But caring for the trees costs hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

City officials plan to collect donations in Bitcoin, a virtual currency. They say that will encourage donations from overseas because the currency is popular outside Japan and remittance fees are low.

Deputy mayor Noboru Yamamoto says the virtual currency may provide a solution to other Japanese local authorities at a time when most are struggling to raise funds.