Japan is a very important country to cryptocurrency companies. With its open-minded regulation and positive approach to cryptocurrencies, there are a lot of benefits to this region. Surprisingly, the Kraken trading platform is ceasing its service in Japan very soon. This sudden decision is the direct result of rising costs associated with offering services to local customers.
Kraken is Exiting Japan
This decision by Kraken comes as a big surprise to most cryptocurrency enthusiasts. The company is one of the few Western service providers offering services in Japan as of right now. That situation will soon change, allegedly due to rising costs of doing business in Japan. This decision is not necessarily permanent, as the company may come back in the future.
Considering how the company has been active in Japan since October 2014, Kraken had plenty of time to evaluate its position in the market. Suspending the services in Japan will let the company provide “better focus on other geographical areas”. Which countries those will include, remains to be determined. Kraken also confirms this temporary suspension only affects residents of Japan.
It also appears Kraken isn’t the most popular trading platform in Japan. Its BTC/JPY pair accounted for 0.07% of the company’s overall trading volume in the past 24 hours. The company also provides an ETH/JPY pair, which is even less popular. There are dozens of exchanges active in Japan who also provide access to both Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange for the Japanese Yen.
No Impact on the Mt. Gox Process
Unlike most other exchanges, Kraken is allowed to operate in Japan without a license. As such, the company is a bit of an odd creature in the country. It is this lack of oversight which may hurt the platform’s popularity as of right now. The exchange will remove its services from the country by the end of June 2018.
As is always the case, speculation runs wild when news like this is made public. Considering Kraken’s position in the ongoing Mt. Gox investigation, it makes even less sense for them to suspend services in Japan. Halting the trading services in this region should not necessarily impact that ongoing process. For now, it remains to be seen how all of this will play out.
Despite the loss of this exchange, Japan remains one of the most crypto-friendly countries on the planet. The local government remains supportive of all different currencies and is even leaning toward legalizing ICOs. That latter development will certainly shake things up in Asia. Other countries, including China and South Korea, have made initial coin offerings illegal and a crackdown on them is imminent in Thailand.
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