Major U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has launched funding and crypto trading services in Japan, furthering its expansion into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.
On Oct. 22, the exchange announced it had launched spot trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) for Japanese residents. Both crypto-to-crypto and JPY-denominated pairings are available.
Customers are able to make deposits in the five crypto assets, with domestic JPY deposits and withdrawals also available via SBI Sumishin Net Bank. Kraken’s announcement claims it is the sole global crypto firm to “organically” enter the Japanese market “without an acquisition.”
Ironically the statement calls attention to how it entered the Australian market, when it acquired the country’s oldest crypto exchange Bit Trade in January. Kraken launched support for AUD funding and pairings in June.
Kraken had previously launched services to Japanese residents in 2014, however it stopped servicing Japan nearly four years later citing rising operating costs and a strategic decision to focus on “other geographical areas.”
Kraken announced it would return to Japan last month after becoming licensed as a ‘Crypto Asset Exchange Service Provider’ on Sep. 8. The exchange allowed users to create accounts from Sep. 18.
David Ripley, COO of Kraken, expressed delight in re-entering Japan, stating: “In today’s challenging economic environment, more people are turning to cryptocurrencies to hedge against volatile markets and use cryptocurrency as a store of value.”
Kraken plans to expand the services and crypto assets available over the coming months. More than two million Japanese residents hold accounts with crypto exchanges.
Takeshi Chino, the CEO of Japanese Kraken subsidiary Payward Asia noted increased demand for decentralized finance (DeFi) in Japan stating:
“Investors in the space are not only drawn to price movement, but also to new investment opportunities, including the innovation currently coming out of the DeFi space.”