Kraken, a leader in 24-hour cryptocurrency trading volume, according to the industry website CoinMarketCap, is shuttering its doors in Japan and moving. The cost of maintaining its business is the stated reason for leaving. With Japan as one of the biggest markets for cryptocurrency trading, this news is somewhat surprising.
The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange said that the rising cost of doing business was the reason for leaving, but in the future it could return. This move will impact Japanese clients here in Japan, but not Japanese clients who trade overseas.
Last month, Binance, the biggest exchange by volume was warned by Japan`s Financial Services Agency against operating in Tokyo without proper documentation – an exchange license. The Kraken news was somewhat of a surprise.
Japan recognizes Bitcoin as legal tender, a law that changed in spring of 2017.
Kraken leaving does raise some questions but with 16 exchanges now self-regulating and some withdrawing licensing requests, the FSA, Japan`s regulator does seem to have added a several layers of rules and regulations that, in the long run will be good for this industry.
Japan has clearly been a leader at home and at the recent G20 meeting in Argentina, as well as inviting central banks and university professors from abroad to study and hash out ideas for the future in crypto and blockchain platforms. We see this leadership continuing.
In a statement from Kraken on Tuesday, `after we have had a chance to better catch up to our repid growth, we will consider the possibility of resuming service for Japan residents.` A statement which indicates that this market is still robust and worth focusing on in the future.