Coinbase Exits Japan; Customers Have Until Feb

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  • The step comes amid recent layoffs by the US-based crypto firm.
  • The fiat deposit option for Coinbase’s clients in Japan will not be available from Jan.20.

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced Wednesday that it would discontinue its operations in Japan days after cutting staff. All users from the region have until February 16, 2023, JST, to redeem their cryptocurrencies from the platform.

“Due to market conditions, our company has made the difficult decision to halt operations in Japan and to conduct a complete review of our business in the country. However, we are committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for our valued customers,” the company said in a blog post.

Further, the fiat deposit option will be closed from January 20 JST, according to the announcement, which added that it had separated the Japanese Yen and crypto assets on the platform per the set regulations to allow customers to withdraw their funds.

The withdrawal option provided by the exchange can be – to any other virtual asset service provider, Coinbase wallet, or self-custody wallet. Customers could also opt to convert their portfolio into fiat and redeem it from any local bank. Failure to which the pending holdings would be changed to fiat and remitted to the Guaranty Account at the Legal Affairs Bureau, where customers can redeem themselves.

Kraken Closed Operations in Japan Last Month, but Binance Thinks Otherwise

Kraken, another major US crypto exchange, announced its exit from Japan on December 28, also citing tough market conditions and a weak global environment for digital assets. The exchange’s clients have until January 31 to withdraw their holdings or convert them to JPY and send them to a domestic bank account.

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On the contrary, industry-leading exchange Binance is doubling down on its operations in the East Asian country. Last month, the platform announced an acquisition of Sakura Exchange BitCoin, a digital assets firm regulated by the FSA, offering 11 major crypto pairs, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Since the collapse of Mt. Gox about eight years ago, Japan has been keen to regulate the sector without stifling innovation, something that has caused Binance to be at loggerheads with its regulatory agency, FSA. In 2018, the exchange had to abandon plans to set up a base in Tokyo on regulatory grounds.

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