Kon'nichiwa! Coinbase Setting Up New Office in Japan

Kon’nichiwa! Coinbase Setting Up New Office in Japan

Over the past few years, Japan has forged itself as being one of the main epicenters of the cryptoeconomy. Now, top American fiat-to-crypto exchange Coinbase wants a slice of that pie. As such, Coinbase has announced a new operation in Japan and the hiring of top Japanese finance exec Nao Kitazawa as its CEO. 

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Setting Up Shop in Asia’s Crypto Hub

Watch out SBI Group and Coincheck — America’s Coinbase is officially moving in on your turf.

Indeed, the already saturated exchange scene in Japan is about to get that much more crowded per a June 4th announcement post from Coinbase explaining the company’s coming launch of an office in Asia’s G10 island powerhouse.

Coinbase
Nao Kitazawa: batter up!

Hailing the arrival of former Morgan Stanley Japan banker and Money Design exec Nao Kitazawa as Coinbase Japan’s inaugural CEO, the exchange noted they were ready to tackle the Japanese crypto scene head on:

“Under the leadership of the highly-respected and admired fintech leader, Nao Kitazawa, our new office will lay the foundation for Japan’s crypto investors to access a range of Coinbase’s products. As in other markets, we plan to take a deliberate approach to our rollout in Japan, which means working hand-in-hand with the Japanese FSA to ensure compliance with local laws at every stage.”

Coinbase In, Kraken Out as Japanese Cryptosphere Becomes More Defined

Japan’s top financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), recently released a 5-point framework aimed at maturing the nation’s fledgling cryptoeconomy. The framework lists out precisely what the FSA expects in order to win an exchange license in the nation.

As such crypto rules have taken shape, not everyone’s been agreeable. For example, popular cryptocurrency exchange Kraken decided to pull out of Japan just weeks ago, citing “growing costs” as the reason for the departure. But many have speculated the move was a result of the FSA’s increasingly rigid stance toward crypto trading operations in the nation.

On the flip side, then, Coinbase’s willingness to dive into the Japanese market signifies they have no qualms about playing by the rules at hand. To each their own, as they say.

Also of note is that Coinbase’s arrival in Japan coincides with the FSA’s recent pressuring of domestic exchanges over the listing of privacy coins like Monero (XMR), Zcash (ZEC), and Dash (DASH). Accordingly, though not surprisingly, Coinbase Japan likely won’t be listing these cryptos any time soon.

Widening Its Physical, Financial Reach

Lately, the name of the game has been expansion for Coinbase, both physically and service-wise.

The Japan office announcement follows on the heels of the exchange opening up an arm in Chicago and launching a new suite of services aimed at both retail and institutional investors.

Call it due diligence, good business, or world domination — whatever you want. In any case, America’s top exchange surely isn’t slowing down any time soon if their recent business blitzkriegs are any indication.

What’s your take? Or you surprised or not surprised by the exchange’s interest in Japan? What comes next? Let us know what you think in the comments below. 


Images via The Coinbase Blog, Morning News USA

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