Coinbase: Can They Make it in Japan?

Primary US crypto wallet and exchange Coinbase has announced its plans to join the Japanese crypto market.

Coinbase thinks to apply for a license with, the Financial Services Agency (FSA),  the country’s financial governor “within the year.” This process has been obligatory for all crypto exchanges working within the country since the revision of Japan’s Payment Services Act in April 2017.

The US company is supposed to be working with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG) on that. According to CT Japan, MUFG has financed  Coinbase with over one bln yen since 2004 through Mitsubishi UFJ Capital, Mitsubishi UFJ Bank, etc.

CT Japan moreover reports that Coinbase’s Japanese trading service will concentrate on maintaining primary digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Coinbase already has above 20 mln customers and has traded $150 bln in digital assets on its exchange by today. In 2017, it had $1 bln in revenue, judging by the figures from Recode, and reportedly appreciated itself at around $8 bln in an acquisition opportunity earlier in spring.

The company has recently started a series of new products aimed to lure major institutional clients –  including a custody solution built with an SEC-compliant third-party partner.

Japan’s crypto market proceeds to show growing crypto adoption levels, with CT Japan quoting recent numbers from Japan’s Virtual Currency Exchange Association that count the number of Japanese crypto investors at 3.5 million.

That makes it an engaging market for foreign capital, notwithstanding the country’s increasingly harsh crypto regulatory environment. Earlier, Japanese crypto exchange BitTrade was purchased for $50 mln by a Singaporean businessperson, who became the first international investor to hold a 100 percent share in an FSA-licensed trading platform.

Coinbase, for its part, has concentrated on working jointly with regulators to develop its security and compliance standards, with current reports appearing that the company is trying to obtain a federal banking charter for its US activities.

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Ana (@coinjive) has been involved in the crypto industry for more than a year now. She was working for three ICOs (as a PR / and CMO). And prior to dive into the blockchain reality, she served as a Communication manager for big tech and less tech companies (including SAP, Evernote, Avon and, etc.). Currently, she works as a contributor at Future Times and as ICO analyst for a private Israel-based crypto venture capital firm. P.S. please agree to accept a dash of subjectivity. Coinjive is run by a human after all.