Popular cryptocurrency trading platform, Kraken has announced that it will cease operations in Japan. The cryptocurrency exchange is leaving due to a rising operating cost in Japan, according to an email statement made available to Bloomberg.
Kraken, which has its headquarters in San-Francisco, intends to conclude its exit from the Asian nation by the end of this second quarter. It does not, however, close the door on a return to the country in the future.
The statement read:
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“Suspending services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas. This is a localized suspension of service that only affects residents of Japan and does not impact services for Japanese citizens or businesses domiciled outside of Japan.”[/perfectpullquote]
Kraken which entered Japan in 2014 is the 12th biggest cryptocurrency exchange daily trade volume according to Coinmarketcap.com. Given the interest in Japan, Kraken’s decision is set to affect both the exchange and its customers residing in Japan. Kraken still has a strong presence in Europe, Canada, US, and the UK.
Increased Cryptocurrency Regulations in Japan
Japan’s Financial Service Agency (FSA) intensified regulations and inspections of crypto businesses since the notorious Coincheck heist—dubbed the biggest of its kind. Although Kraken was allowed to operate in the country without a license, the rules for non-licensed operators are expected to change. Barely two weeks after it warned Binance against operating without a license, the FSA strengthened its regulations for quasi-operators to include extensive on-site inspections.
Japan still remains one of the most crypto-friendly nations. Unlike China, Japan chose to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges rather than pronounce them illegal. The same may soon happen for ICOs, the crowdfunding practice associated with cryptocurrency ventures. The country sponsored a research which prescribed legalizing ICOs.