One of the USA’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges is creating an office in Japan, where it hopes to take a slice of the large Japanese cryptocurrency market. Coinbase was founded in 2012 and is estimated to have a $1 billion annual revenue along with over 20 million users.
Currently, Coinbase offers Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin, and it is noted for being particularly friendly to beginners and widely regarded as a safe and tightly regulated exchange. They recently acquired the Paradex exchange, which will enable them to offer more cryptocurrencies to customers. Currently, the company is in the process of attracting institutional investors to their platform.
In an effort to further widen its influence, Coinbase is expanding into Japan. To do so, it will have to work in tandem with Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA), who recently imposed a five-point plan to regulate Japanese cryptocurrency exchanges in the region. Japan is well known as a world leader in cryptocurrency regulation and adoption, with a high trade volume and a large percentage of people who use cryptocurrency within the general populace. The company will need a license to operate, and once secured, it will likely partner with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc, who are investors in the exchange.
Nao Kitazawa will head the project to expose Japanese investors to Coinbase’s suite of products. He will be the CEO of Coinbase Japan and is the former COO of Money Design. He also worked at Morgan Stanley Japan as an investment banker where he instigated a number of acquisitions and mergers deals in the real estate sector. He has experience as a member of an international law firm, working on a number of high-level finance cases in Japan and the USA. He currently sits on the Board of the Fintech Association of Japan.
It is no secret that Chinese and Japanese exchanges see the highest Bitcoin trade volume. Coinbase’s strategic move into this market will see it gather further market share. Taken over longer time periods, China and Japan have dominated the market, though exact figures are largely disputed. But more recently, exchanges like Kraken and Coinbase are eating into this dominance. Nao Kitazawa no doubt has much experience and a network of legal connections in the Japanese regulatory sector. He will be an invaluable asset that enables Coinbase to take a bite of the world’s sweetest cryptocurrency market.
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