by Joseph Young
BitFlyer, a leading Japanese cryptocurrency exchange and fourth largest bitcoin trading platform, has officially launched in the US with approval from regional regulators.
Since 2016, bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchanges in the US have been required to comply with both federal and regional regulations. In the US cryptocurrency exchange market, trading platforms have to be in compliance with regulations and also obtain licenses from states with independent regulatory frameworks such as New York.
Unlike Japan, the US currently does not have a national licensing program for cryptocurrency exchanges and businesses. Hence, for states like New York, businesses have to apply for a license from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDF).
Yuzo Kano, the CEO of bitFlyer, revealed that the company had been approved by the NYSDF to operate within the state of New York through BitLicense. In the upcoming months, bitFlyer intends to expand throughout the US to serve general consumers and millions of investors.
“BitFlyer is proud to have been granted a BitLicense to do business in the state of New York. This is a nod of approval from one of the most influential state financial services regulators in the nation,” said Kano.
BitFlyer is the leading exchange in Japan, the largest market for the cryptocurrency in the world which processes approximately 64 percent of global bitcoin trades. The platform serves more than 800,000 active users in Japan alone and plans on penetrating the US market to expand its consumer base internationally.
For many years, bitcoin exchanges in Japan have been criticized for their zero-fee policy, which leaves platforms open to wash trading and inflated daily trading volumes. Thus, analysts have claimed that like China, which had a zero-fee policy until late 2016, the Japanese bitcoin exchange market’s daily trading volume is likely inflated.
In an interview with Jon Southurst, executives of two of Japan’s major cryptocurrency exchanges Quoine and bitFlyer refuted the claims that trading volumes coming from the Japanese market are inflated and inorganic.
“At QUOINE, we are charging fees on all trades other than spot trading of BTC/JPY. Every other currency pair, as well as margin trading, there is a fee. And our spreads are quite large, hence our volume is actually lower in April/May than it was March,” said Mike Kayamori, CEO of QUOINE.
Kano emphasized that the zero-fee policy imposed by Japanese exchanges are structurally different than China and that they are seeing funds flowing not just to bitcoin, but to all crypto markets.
Regardless whether the daily trading volumes of bitFlyer and other Japanese bitcoin exchanges is inflated or not, bitFlyer has served a client base of nearly one million users to date. Its launch in the US will provide businesses and investors in the States with a professional trading platform and infrastructure, given its experience in dealing with large-scale conglomerates such as Bic Camera, Japan’s largest electronics retailer that started to accepted bitcoin in July.