While the crypto market seems to be returning to its pre-FTX collapse form, Coinbase decided to suspend its operations in Japan, citing the Bear Market as the reason. The company thus asked its Japanese customers to withdraw their funds within 1 month.
Bad news for Coinbase customers in Japan
This Wednesday, January 18, Coinbase informed in its blog that the company will stop its operations in Japan within a few weeks. However, the company will conduct a full review of its operations before leaving the country completely.
Due to market conditions, our company has made the difficult decision to cease operations in Japan and conduct a complete review of our operations in the country.An excerpt from the announcement
Coinbase has thus called on all such users to withdraw their cryptocurrencies from the platform. Japanese people therefore have until February 16 to empty their accounts. Customers then have the choice to transfer their funds to an exchange or a private wallet. They can also liquidate their Wallets and withdraw the money to a bank account.
At the end of the term, customers who have not yet withdrawn their cryptos will be immediately expelled to the “mother bank”. Coinbase will automatically convert their assets into Japanese yen. They will then be able to retrieve them “Physically” at the Legal Affairs Office.
In addition, Fiat deposit operations will be halted as of Friday, January 20.
In an interview a few days after the announcement, Nana Murugesan, Vice President of International and Business Development at Coinbase, said that the company will maintain a small staff to protect customers’ assets.
Recall that a few days ago, Coinbase had announced the reduction of its operating expenses with a layoff of more than 950 people.
Japan, a bad climate for exchanges?
Coinbase is not the first exchange to close its doors in Japan. Last December, Kraken had announced to leave the country. The exchange had also blamed the current market conditions in the country.
The departure of Coinbase and Kraken from Japan comes at a time when Binance, the world’s largest exchange, has packed its bags to move into the country. Indeed, in November 2022, the CZ platform had announced that it had purchased Sakura Exchange BitCoin (SEBC), a Tokyo-based exchange platform. This will allow Binance to set up shop in the country after also abandoning it for 5 years.
Although Kraken and Coinbase have closed their doors, the Japanese can now count on Binance. It remains to be seen whether Kraken and Coinbase will return to the land of the rising sun before the next Bull Run.
Coming from a journalism university background, I came across Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies not long ago.
The potential of the Blockchain seduced me and I made it my research topic.