There has been big news, which could really negatively affect Japan’s relationship with cryptocurrencies. Kraken, which is the worlds largest Bitcoin exchange when it comes to euro volume and liquidity, has announced that they will end activities in Japan, due to their rising costs.
The company, which is based in San Francisco, has said that this is not final, and that they might re-enter Japan in the future. Japan is one of the largest markets for cryptocurrencies, so this could have huge impacts.
Kraken launched its Bitcoin-yen trading in October 2014, three years after the exchange was founded in 2011, yet less than four years later, they have planned to cease all of its services by the end of June.
The company believes that by suspending their Japanese business, it will allow them channel their resources into other countries. They do stress that this move will not affect their services to Japanese citizens or any business outside of the country.
The news that Kraken will be exiting Japan, comes after Binance, which is the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange fell out the with Japanese financial regulator for failing to get a license to operate in the country. Japan are already on tenterhooks, and are watching exchanges incredibly closely after Coincheck was hacked in January.
The Financial Services Agency recently asked all exchanges to register, but still only half have. Although this has made some exchanges withdraw, a further 100 firms are interested in joining the Japanese crypto market. Earlier this month, a Japanese government backed research group proposed guidelines for legalising ICO’s; these are a very controversial way of raising money in the crypto-world, which other countries, such a South Korea and China have outright banned because of concerns over scams.
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