Japan is Too Costly: Cryptocurrency Broker Kraken

One of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world Kraken is going to end its trading services for Japanese users.

The company cited the rising value of doing business in Japan, though it could re-enter the country later. It plans to cease all its services, which began in October 2014 by the end of June.

“Suspending services for Japan residents will allow us to better focus on our resources to improve in other geographical areas,” the company said. “This is a localised suspension of service that only affects residents of Japan and does not impact services for Japanese citizens or businesses domiciled outside of Japan.”

According to Coin Market Cap, the exchange Kraken was ranked 10th by global volume, with $190 million trading amount. It had been allowed to operate in Japan without a licence. The Financial Services Agency of the country has been conducting inspections of venues amid a broader effort to bolster security.

Long seen as among the friendliest jurisdictions for trading digital currencies, Japan has experienced troubles ranging from investor fraud to the $500m hack of a Japanese crypto-exchange this year.

However, policy makers are still supportive and are moving to regulate new exchanges, rather than banning them outright. They took the first step toward legalizing ICOs, a controversial fundraising technique outlawed in places like China and South Korea.

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