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US Exchange Coinbase Plans To Expand Operations To Japan

Coinbase, the US-based leading cryptocurrency exchange, is expanding its operations to Japanese lands, according to a news article by the local newspaper Nihon Keizai Shinbun. This with the idea of entering the Japanese market cleanly and gain a foothold in a country that is heavily invested in cryptocurrencies.
Coinbase is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the USA. With more than 20 million users, they were mentioned in the latest Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report as a proof that cryptocurrencies are going mainstream this year. But Coinbase has no plans to stop there. They announced that, in partnership with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the biggest banks in the whole world, they will invest to enter the Japan cryptocurrency market.
They will apply for a license with the Financial Services Agency, the Japanese Exchange overseer, this same year. They expect to be operating in the country within a year from the license application date. In Japan, cryptocurrency exchanges are regulated and they need to apply for a license if they want to operate legally.
But since the hack of Coincheck, a Japanese exchange that lost more than $500 million dollars worth of a cryptocurrency called NEM last January, regulations and requirements have been ramped up, till the point that some exchanges have outed the Japanese market stating that revenue margins are too low. That is the case of another cryptocurrency exchange called Kraken, based also in the USA, who stated that the rising cost of doing business in Japan forced them to abandon that market.
That is why for some, this is a controversial move by Coinbase, because they are aiming to enter a market that is heavily regulated and that some crypto businesses have already abandoned. But Japan is a heavy cryptocurrency hub that cannot be ignored; with more than 3.5 million people already trading, the opportunity is too great to not try.

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