Kraken Shutting Down Crypto Exchange in Japan Citing Weak Global Crypto Market

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken is shutting down services in Japan. The company explained that the current Japanese market conditions and a weak global crypto market do not justify the resources needed to further grow its business in Japan at this time.

Kraken Exiting Japan

Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced Wednesday that it has decided to “cease its operations in Japan and deregister from the Financial Services Agency (JFSA) as of January 31, 2023.”

The company explained that the decision to exit the Japanese crypto market is part of its “efforts to prioritize resources and investments” in the areas that align with the company’s strategy and “will best position Kraken for long-term success.” The announcement details:

Current market conditions in Japan in combination with a weak crypto market globally mean the resources needed to further grow our business in Japan aren’t justified at this time.

“As a result, Kraken will no longer service clients in Japan through Payward Asia,” the exchange affirmed. Payward Asia Inc. operates Kraken’s services in Japan.

All affected clients have until Jan. 31 to withdraw their fiat and crypto holdings, the announcement adds, noting that deposit functionality will be removed on Jan. 9. Kraken also assured customers that it is “fully funded to ensure all affected clients can withdraw their assets in a timely manner.”

The crypto market has suffered significantly this year, with bitcoin falling more than 65% year-to-date. The Terra ecosystem collapse in May and the FTX implosion last month have negatively impacted many crypto companies, and a number of firms ended up having to file for bankruptcy, including FTX, Three Arrows Capital (3AC), Voyager Digital, Celsius Network, and Blockfi.

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“Since the start of this year, macroeconomic and geopolitical factors have weighed on financial markets. This resulted in significantly lower trading volumes and fewer client sign-ups,” Kraken CEO Jesse Powell detailed last month. “Unfortunately, negative influences on the financial markets have continued and we have exhausted preferable options for bringing costs in line with demand.” Kraken announced in November that it is reducing its global workforce by 30% or approximately 1,100 people “in order to adapt to current market conditions.”

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Kevin Helms

A student of Austrian Economics, Kevin found Bitcoin in 2011 and has been an evangelist ever since. His interests lie in Bitcoin security, open-source systems, network effects and the intersection between economics and cryptography.




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