Crypto exchange Kraken gets out of Japan
Bowing to regulatory pressure, Kraken suspends service to Japanese customers.
For the time being, Kraken users in Japan will have to take their cryptocurrency trading elsewhere, as the US-based cryptocurrency exchange has announced plans to sunset its services there over the next 2.5 months. Kraken has served Japanese residents since late 2014.
“We deeply regret suspending this long-standing relationship and hope to resume services for Japan residents in the future,” the company stated.
The move comes in the face of a report from Japan’s regulator, the Financial Services Agency, that shows a five-fold increase in bitcoin trading volume since 2014 and on the heels of circulating rumors that the FSA is threatening to shut down Binance’s operations in the country too.
However, that regulatory climate has not deterred Yahoo Japan from building a cryptocurrency exchange, though Yahoo has already properly registered the operation. It isn’t expected to open until next year, though.
For Kraken customers, Japanese residents will be barred from depositing into the exchange in mid-May, while trading will cease in mid-June and withdrawals will be halted at the end of June. The only exception is individuals who expect a court-ordered distribution from the Mt. Gox bankruptcy. In that case, a one-time future withdrawal from their Kraken account will be allowed.
Kraken services are expected to continue in other places around the world.
In South Korea, regulators have ordered exchanges to rewrite their user contracts. Meanwhile American authorities have directed most of their warnings toward initial coin offerings after conducting Congressional hearings with lawmakers in both the House and Senate.
Kraken allows customers to trade five major currencies, including the US dollar, and cryptocurrencies bitcoin (XBT), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash (DASH), EOS, Ethereum Classic (ETC), Gnosis (GNO), Iconomi (ICN), Litecoin (LTC), Melon (MLN), Augur (REP), Tether (USDT), Dogecoin (XDG), Stellar Lumens (XLM), Monero (XMR), Ripple (XRP) and Zcash (ZEC). Learn more about the exchange in our review of Kraken.
Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author holds XRP, CND, ANT and DRGN, and actively trades BTC and ETH.
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